My Interview with an artist!
Sameeha Menk uses henna to design beautiful temporary art on others
When I was a child in elementary school, all my school friends would gather around and stare at the orange/reddish stain on my hands. Back in that day, it took forever to explain what that “tattoo” was and how it was not a sign of rebellion. However, with today’s technological improvements, cultures are well known throughout society making it much easier to explain what henna is and its culture.
Henna is a crushed flowering plant that is used temporarily for tattooing purposes; some use this plant for hair dye, a much natural and healthier alternative to the chemically processed hair colors. This art has been practiced for thousands of years. It is seen as a beautiful and magnificent talent that is used throughout many countries all over the world.
Henna is a form of art practiced for generations by the people of India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and many other countries. It is mainly applied during weddings and festivals; however, some people just do it for the fun of it like Sameeha Menk does.
One strange belief that is passed on from one generation to another is that the color of the henna reveals how much your future mother in law loves you. Often times, brides ask the henna artist to write out each letter of the groom’s name in between the henna designs. Then, on the first night of their wedding day, the bride asks the groom to find each letter. This is a common and romantic gesture for newly weds.
A close companion, Sameeha Menk, started practicing henna at a very young age. Her passion derived from back home in India, Gujarat. She occasionally practiced with her best friend, who is also passionate about henna.
As a beginner, Menk started practicing Henna on close friends and family members in India. She slowly progressed because she began practicing more on her free time.; she also decided to take henna classes.
“At first I learned by sketching the basic henna designs in a notebook. After surpassing that first lesson, our teacher taught us how to make the henna paste and form a cylindrical cone,” she wrote.
At the age of 12, Menk moved to America. Even after living in such a different culture, she continuously practiced Henna designs on others. She never forgot her passion, as she struggled to transition to a new country.
She is now 21 years old, and still continuously challenges herself by becoming the best of her ability. She has won the hearts of many people, and they visit her for their henna designs.
To see her beautiful designs, please check out her Facebook page. Click here
One of her Henna designs done on a bride! (Source: Sameeha Menk Photography)
Updated November 24, 2013