A (Henna) Tray Bake

Hello Escritori,

So sorry! I was hoovering the room after doing sewing/alterations to the great Costume Department-worthy amount of spangly Wedding Season clothes –  when I realised I hadn’t posted! These past few days have been very busy and VERY tiring, even with the help of supplements. I’ve also been catching up with TBG after Ramadan and her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

I have been busy making a mendhi thaal, or henna plate/tray for my cousin’s ‘Mendhi’ ceremony on Saturday insha’Allah. A ‘Mendhi’ ceremony is a pre-wedding kind of halal shindig for the ladies of the groom or bride’s side, to feed the groom/bride sweets or fruit and give gifts, wish them well and on occasion, have a bit of a dance.

I believe that these are not strictly Islamic events, I believe they have their routes in the Hindu tradition – given that my heritage is South Asian, it’s kind of impossible not to have some degree of cultural transference from your neighbours, so some stricter Muslims probably wouldn’t have them.

It is however sunnah (in accordance with the practices and sayings of the Prophet pbuh) for women to use henna and kohl for cosmetic beautification purposes, such Eid or prior to getting married (when the bride’s hands are decorated.) So… potato potahto in some people’s eyes with the validity of the henna ceremony. 

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However you can’t have a henna ceremony, without henna! So the ladies of the family often process into the venue with highly decorated plates with bowls of henna, candles and flowers to generally bring the party. Traditionally the theme colours of a henna ceremony are yellow, khaki or bright green or orange, the colour of henna.

So that’s what I’ve been busy making from various recycling.

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In addition to making the tray, I also decorated an empty night cream jar with washi tape 😉 foil wrappers, broken jewellery, small mirror-glass pieces and lashings of glitter to safely add a tea-light to the proceedings. I blu-tacked it to a jam jar lid just to give it some height and also make it safer to move around when the candle is lit.

Anthropology and crafting, quite a USP huh?

Keep scribbling,

~ Pola ~

 

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