I Have A Tattoo

Last Sunday marked the end of Ramadan. Now, being a Christian and not a Muslim, I obviously do not observe Ramadan. However, the doctors that I work for are Muslim and they do observe Ramadan.

I particularly have quite a bit to do with one of the doctors (Dr S) and his wife (Iram). Iram mentioned to me quite some time back that she wanted to have a ‘girls-only’ party when Ramadan ended but before Eid (a Muslim celebration at the end of Ramadan) and invited me to come.

Well, it didn’t end up being girls-only and it probably didn’t qualify as a party, but I did go to their home with many other families for dinner last Sunday night. For most of the time, the men and women were segregated. It probably worked better that way given the large amount of people and the size of the rooms.

Henna seems to be a fairly big thing with women from countries such as India, Pakistan and Afghanistan (I have friends from all three). At least with Indian weddings, the bride has her complete hands and feet henna ‘tattooed’ in advance. It is/can be amazingly intricate.

After dinner last week, henna is what the women did. Almost everybody had at least one hand done by somebody. (I don’t think we had time for everybody to get both done!!) It is all done free-hand and henna comes in cone-shaped tube. Obviously, you use the pointy end to ‘draw’ your designs with.

I joined in and had one hand done, though mine was quite simple compared to theirs. It also didn’t cover the entire palm and fingers like theirs usually does–I did have to go to work at a doctors’ surgery the next day and I thought I better not overdo it. 🙂 Not that I was heaps worried, given that anybody that has even remote hire-or-fire power is either Indian or Pakistani! I did try not to wave it around too much, though, just to avoid problems.

Mine has almost entirely worn off now (so chill, Billy and Narly! lol). Usually, you are supposed to leave the dye on overnight but since I had to drive home, I had to wash mine off after a much shorter period of time. Here is another, a close up, taken by a friend right before I left for work…

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