Mehndi | Rasm-e-Henna | Henna Night

I am a curious human, curious since the time I was born, I am often told that. Mehndi functions were very close to my heart since I was 10 years old, the designs fascinated me, the anticipation of getting a darker color, applying sugar and lemon to keep the Henna intact and the clove smoke, if you remember all this you have certainly lived an authentic Indian Mehndi Night. 

I was convent educated and one year the school banned Henna, it was my second cousin sister's wedding and I creatively made an Arabic Henna design on my hand with sketch pens. It was such a win for the little child to be inclusive in the Mehndi night with some art on her hands even if temporary. 

My curiosity later in years got me fascinated towards how Henna has evolved in design and across all cultures, Henna now has a global platform is not only restricted to brides and weddings. 

Mehndi night, often referred to as a henna night or Mehndi Ki Raat, is a pre-wedding celebration observed in many cultures, particularly in South Asia (including countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) and parts of the Middle East and North Africa. It holds significant cultural and emotional importance for several reasons:

1. Ritual and Tradition
Mehndi night is a traditional pre-wedding event where intricate henna designs are applied to the bride's hands and feet. This ritual is believed to bring good luck and protect against evil spirits.

2. Celebration and Bonding
It serves as a joyous occasion for families and friends to come together to celebrate the upcoming marriage. It fosters a sense of community and bonding among the attendees.

3. Beauty and Aesthetics
The application of mehndi is seen as an art form, and the intricate designs are often symbolic, featuring motifs of love, prosperity, and happiness. The beauty of these designs is highly admired and is a significant part of bridal adornment.

4. Cultural Expression
Mehndi nights often involve singing traditional songs, dancing, and other cultural performances, making it a vibrant expression of cultural heritage. It preserves and promotes cultural values and traditions.

But digging deep into my curiosity and knowledge sharing, here is a list of countries that indulge in Mehndi night during the wedding festivities and their specific names 

1. India - Mehndi
2. Pakistan - Mehndi or Rasm-e-Henna
3. Bangladesh - Mehndi
4. Nepal - Mehndi
5. Sri Lanka - Henna/Mehendi (used by some communities)
6. Iran - Hana Bandan
7. Morocco - Henna Ceremony
8. Egypt - Henna Night
9. Turkey - Kina Gecesi
10. Algeria - Henna Night
11. Tunisia - Henna Night

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
1. Jordan - Henna Night
2. Palestine - Henna Night
3. Lebanon - Henna Night
4. Saudi Arabia - Henna Night
5. United Arab Emirates - Henna Night
6. Oman - Henna Night
7. Yemen - Henna Night
8. Sudan - Henna Night
9. Libya - Henna Night

Sub-Saharan Africa
1. Somalia - Henna Night
2. Ethiopia - Henna Night, especially in the Harari culture
3. Eritrea - Henna application is common in some communities

Central Asia
1. Afghanistan - Henna Ceremony
2. Uzbekistan -  Henna Night, particularly in traditional communities

Southeast Asia
1. Malaysia - Berinai (Henna Night, in some communities)
2. Indonesia - Malam Bainai (Henna Night, in some communities)

Persianate Societies
1. Tajikistan - Henna Night
2. Azerbaijan - Kına Gecesi (like Turkey, influenced by shared cultural heritage)

African Diaspora (Caribbean and Americas)
Communities in the Caribbean and Americas with Indian or Middle Eastern ancestry might also celebrate with mehndi.
1. Trinidad and Tobago -  Mehendi Night (among Indian descendants)
2. Guyana - Mehendi Night
3. Suriname - Mehendi Night

Diaspora in Western Countries
In Western countries with significant South Asian or Middle Eastern populations, mehndi ceremonies are often adapted and celebrated within the context of multicultural weddings.
1. United States -  Henna Party, Bridal Henna
2. United Kingdom - Henna Party, Mehndi
3. Canada - Henna Party, Mehndi
4. Australia - Henna Party, Mehndi

Divided by Land, United by Henna !

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published