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Ever since I was introduced to Henna by an Indian friend, Mahdu, 16 years ago, I became very intrigued with this art form, however, in Indonesia, Henna is not that popular, and the usage is slightly different.
I got the opportunity to ‘look’ at the art of henna again when I moved to Qatar. However, wearing Henna is only limited to the Arab girls; how they wear it is unique and also very discrete: on the palms of their hands, on their feet, but one can barely see it, as they the wear the abaya to cover it.

English: Simple henna (mehandhi) decoration on...

English: Simple henna (mehandhi) decoration on the left palm of an Indian woman. ‪Norsk (nynorsk)‬: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an expat, I don’t have a local Arab lady friend to show me how and where to do the ‘body paint’.   The other thing is that maybe there is no occasion to wear henna. However, I found the opportunity to do it, as I am going to a family wedding in the UK.  Thus I forced myself to go to a henna salon to do my body painting!

My idea of where to paint henna is not the traditional one, as traditional Arab henna usually is on the hands especially the palm and on the feet, as these are the only parts of the body that are visible.

As Henna is only a body painting, not carving or tatooing, Henna paint will not last forever on your body. It will stay on the skin for max 2 weeks. After that it will wash away as you shower and when wash your hands etc.

  1. The best outcome of the print is 2 days after the work is done, thus for the best result of showing off my henna, I have to do it 2 days prior the ‘big’ day.
  2. As henna is not permanent, one can change design and location of how it looks like and where on your body you want to have it.
In a few minutes the artist at the salon manage to do this with a simple tube that contain henna paste.

In a few minutes the artist at the salon manage to do this with a simple tube that contain henna paste.

That’s my hand and arm after I put henna on and waiting for it to dry.

Filed under: eJournal, Expat Archive

About the Author

Posted by

I used to live as an expat and travel around the Middle East. After 10 years working in the Arabian Gulf I am now retired and living in the UK but still retain my interests of further travels and exploring new horizons.


  1. hani

    It is an “art” of its own. Amazing…………. Can they do it on paper – that would be unique.


    • Nin

      Unfortunately no, however with normal ink on paper, if you designed it similar, you could get similar result.


  2. Pingback: Mehndi Designs: Traditional Henna Body Art (Dover Pictorial Archive) | WWW.DBESTREVIEW.COM

  3. Pingback: Bye-bye 2013 | Nins' Travelog

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