Mehndi Me

When I lived in Kansas City, I had two good Muslim friends – Ayesha was from Islamabad, Pakistan, and Yasmin was from Johannesburg, South Africa, where her parents had moved, from India. My church in KC (Colonial Presbyterian) had an outreach to Internationals program, where basically the goal was to be welcoming to people from other countries who lived in KC.   My friends were both awesome, and we learned a lot from each other – about our cultures and our religions. (And they made awesome, awesome food! I ate gold leaf for the first time at a Pakistani Association dinner. And they were surprised at how hot I like my food – but they don’t know my DAD, who can eat BLUEBONNET peppers RAW! We are a hot & spicy food fam.) I borrowed a sari to wear to that dinner . . . loved wearing it! And, to this day, I think a sari makes more sense than most clothing choices for me . . . Anyway, our discoveries seemed to mainly consist of being surprised at how alike we were, rather than how different, in world view, in beliefs, and in behavior. We took an Arabic course together, which I loved writing (the teacher was from Cairo and kept telling me how good my Arabic writing was, haha! I loved “drawing” it!) I liked writing it and speaking it – to the level that I could. Not an easy language – but I loved (and still love) listening to it, and trying to read it “in context.”  Never easy, but I do tend to choose to do things which challenge me. Anyway, we had a lot of fun together. One of my FAVORITE memories was when Ayesha was getting married . . . and she had a Mehndi at her home – lots of women, working on her arms and hands and feet, taking turns painting henna designs on her for her wedding. It was awesome and the designs were so beautiful. The wedding was the most gorgeous event I have ever attended! (And, an aside, if you ever want to feel like a total troll, go to an event full of Indian and Pakistani citizens – they are ALL GORGEOUS. Yikes. Thank God my self-esteem is decent.) I still draw mehndi/henna designs in my doodles and drawings to this day. Love that look. Anyway, here’s the Mehndi page I did in my art journal . . . have a great Sunday, y’all!

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