Every other person has considered having a tattoo, maybe not permanent but at least a temporary one. Absolutely painless application of drawings that can be altered in a couple of weeks is offered by Mehndi art – henna painting.
Hiding from parching sun in refreshing shadows of palaces and escaping boredom, while men were shaping the future of states, noble women in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Assirya and India sought entertainment in the art of henna painting… Travelling around the world, penetrating various cultures and adjusting to their traditions, this type of body-art became deeply engrained in various lands therefore it is rather problematic to figure out Mehndi’s true birthplace. Findings in the shape of thousand-years-old Egyptian mummies testify to the popularity of bio-tattoo in those times. Researchers have discovered traces of the coloring composition on embalmed bodies that had spent over five thousand years peacefully lying in a sepulcher. Thus, Egyptian women used to cover their hands and faces with ornamental paintings while they decorated their husbands’ temples with images of hoopoe birds as a symbol of wisdom and wit.Photo beyondweddings.com
Another country competing for the title of the art’s founder is India. It was here where the term “Mehndi” originated and it was also here where archeologists found ancient petroglyphic engravings depicting Indian princesses with extremities fully adorned with distinctive paintings. Local women nowadays still ornament themselves with various patterns. Every other one regardless of age and status can boast to have either a blooming lotus or whimzical ethnic elements. Girls get their first henna-tattoos as early as at the age of three to four years. Citizens believe that these paintings done with natural material, aside from beauty and beneficial effect on skin, also work on a “delicate level” performing “cleaning” of chakras. Seven of them are considered to be major ones, they are dispersed along body’s major energy centers and find their reflection on palms that are decorated the most.Photo bel-india.com
Ornamentation was paid special attention by women from Arabic countries. Henna paintings didn’t serve merely as adornment but also as a talisman with the process of their application considered to be a certain ritual. Daily pictures were uncomplicated at all representing a simple pattern of swirls and dashes while on holidays and celebrations women used to decorate their bodies with more sophisticated motifs in shapes of flowers, leaves and geometric figures that compose exclusive arabesques. Tattoos for brides used to be paid special attention. Most often their application was taking both hands of more than one skilled painter and a several days time. Mehndi traditions here as well as in India remained almost intact. Henna decoration is included to standard procedures list in many beauty salons alongside hairdos, makeup and manicure. In wedding season and national holidays these establishments significantly extend their working hours trying to paint as many hands and legs as possible.Photo fas.nus.edu.sg
Mehndi didn’t gain as much popularity in Europe as it did in the East in those times. Durable paint transportation that significantly decreases its quality, Church’s disapproval of the decoration together with increasing relevance of long-lasting tattoos significantly delayed period of henna popularization, as long as till 1990s. Having had enough of life-long tattoos and piercing, Europeans and Americans embarked on a search for blander and less “permanent” adornment. It was then when they recalled natural dye. A painting made with a blend of good quality lasts for about a month and the procedure itself is absolutely painless and hygienic. Besides, due to its natural origins, henna exerts favorable effect on skin. Its main benefit is antipyrotic action that was noticed in the very same East. Before sun protection cream was invented, it was henna that Bedouins, who were wandering in deserts for months and months, used to cover their hands and faces with. Travelers weren’t particularly thinking about drawings and their meaning (and who other than camels would have appreciated them), so they were simply dipping their hands into a dye-liqour.Photo static.newworldencyclopedia.org
Mehndi application technology in Europe isn’t much different from eastern one while designs diversity increased significantly. Traditional styles and motifs with complementing trends like images of zodiac signs and meaningful inscriptions created new patterns that enjoy popularity as a stylish accessory for parties and feasts. One of the world’s best masters in Mehndi art, by the way, became a European. The United Kingdom citizen Ash Kumar in 2001 even managed to proudly get his own line in Guinness World Records when he managed to paint as many as 96 hands with good quality drawings in one hour.
If what they show in cinematograph is true than a typical samurai appears to be austere, taciturn and even slightly unsociable person. But this image in actual fact doesn’t get in line with reality... You don’t believe it? Our journalist Elena Rasenko suggests you make sure of it for yourself.
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue...
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
It is just as hard to imagine a Japanese who doesn’t eat fish as to picture a Scott who doesn’t drink whiskey. OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko will tell you about a unique place where successors of samurai purchase fine seafood for their tables.
Especially for those who believe theatre and opera music to be vestige of the past, we tell about an amazing Austrian theatre where traditional art meets technical and engineering novelties and also a great view of the Alps.
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
Have you ever thought how many grains of history are stored in each item sold at little booths in Thailand? Yet, strolling along those souvenir stalls you are browsing craft records of the whole nation, briefly looking through notes survived from a thousand years ago to the present day. Some pages have thinned to transparency, but marks did preserve their former accuracy.
Our journalist came back from Ecuador with unique experience and we share it with you. For the first time I was suspected of drug trafficking. Alone, in the country where there is no Ukrainian Embassy, I was standing and feverishly figuring out if someone could plant something on me on the way to the airport.
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life.
How can you understand the nature of finance, if there is no desire to go deep into the jungle of science? It is better to see once, than to read a hundred times: a trip to the island of Yap in Micronesia replaces the entire university course of monetary theory. Yap roads are lined up with giant doughnut-shaped, carved disks the size of a millstone - rampant inflation has made the world biggest money into fun for tourists.
Carpets hang on walls as a symbol of wealth, lay on floors to create coziness and are presented as expensive gifts. Studying fancy pictures in the shapes of diamonds and stars on them attempting to figure out their meaning is a fairly amusing thing to do. Globally spread carpeting traditions were borrowed from eastern peoples who were the first to learn how to make yarn and fabric out of fibrous materials.
Upon hearing word combination “Hindu woman” an image of a beautiful woman wearing sari and definitely with numerous adornments and pictures on her body emerges in our imagination. Where does passion for body decoration come from in national traditions of this people?
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning,...
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple.
“To drag a goat with one’s hands” is a national entertainment of Tajik men however it enjoys huge popularity around Central Asia in the whole. As a rule a couple dozens, sometimes as many as a hundred, skilled and nimble horse riders gather to drag the goat. There is such a throng during the event that people fall off their horses, lose consciousness and even get maimed.
Many places, famous around the globe today, were created by a bunch of enthusiasts without money or outside help. These people lived for their ideas and were doing everything to turn them into reality. Official date of street art appearance is believed to be year 1942, fervor of World War II.
Stealing the bride's shoe in the midst of the celebration, and to require unimaginable redemption from the groom, is an interesting action for which it is worth to go to the wedding party. This is not the only wedding tradition of country, by which the legal wedlock of two hearts acquires a special flavour. What are interesting rituals of different parts of our planet?
Ice cream with a taste of horse meat, pickled insects, fish with deadly venom, etc – Japanese cuisine has things to surprise, amaze and shock you with. And truth be told, enumeration of these dishes doesn’t help my appetite at all. But we are not after exotic stuff. True culinary tourism is an attempt to comprehend mindset and feel national distinctive color through traditional cuisine – not try most exotic dishes.
Independent artist originally from the Philippines, Patrick Cabral conquers the world with his unusual artwork. His creations are an innovation that combines the age-old traditions of calligraphy and cutting-edge 3D technologies. His art is a way to change the world for the better, both through aesthetics and through the fulfillment of a social mission.