5 months ago
Paint it green
Mehendi culture mergers fashion and tradition during Shrawan as the devotees of Lord Shiva flaunt intricate henna designs throughout the month. What initially began as a cultural practice has now evolved into a fashion trend, especially among youngsters.
Nonetheless, mehendi is believed to blend the green color of nature with the red color that represents women’s fortune, shared Sandhya Khanal -- Assistant Professor at Central Department of Nepalese History Culture and Archaeology, Tribhuvan University. She added, “Concept of wearing green during the month of Shrawan started from Mathura in the time of Lord Krishna.”
Though the tradition of mehendi dates back to the ancient times, the practice still prevails in the contemporary society. To find out about the current mehendi trend in Kathmandu, My City’s Aditya Neupane spoke to a few artists.
Ensure darker shade: Soak your dried mehendi with a mixture of sugar syrup and lemon juice. It will make the mehendi harder and increases its darkness.
Avoid water: Avoid water after pealing mehendi to protect it from fading earlier.
Removing them: Though mehendis are temporary, removing the stains is a difficult task. It is possible to remove the faded remains by massaging the skin with a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice. It will help remove the mehendi naturally.
Avoid chemicals: Mehendi establishes a direct contact with your skin. Ensure that your mehindi does not contain any chemical. To make a chemical free mehendi, you can mix the powder of henna leaf with coffee, sugar syrup, lemon juice and a few drops of essential oil.
Gupta Ji, 35
street artist, Newroad
Females of different age groups are interested in mehendis. There are different designs, but Arabic is the most popular. It is simple and clear. The most complicated design can fetch up to Rs 3000.
Manisha Byanjankar, 25
In ancient civilizations, people prepared mehendis by blending different herbs and spices with the leaves of the henna plant. But now, we can find commercial brands in groceries, and supermarkets.
Since I was fascinated towards arts since my childhood, I wanted to pursuing mehendi art as a profession. It was still just a hobby. Slowly, people found out about my work, and then I started getting orders. Eventually, I changed my hobby into a profession in 2010. Nowadays people, especially youngsters, are keener towards the mehendi fashion.
Throughout Shrawan, managing the influx of mehendi enthusiasts becomes a daunting task. I have noticed that the first week of Shrawan is the busiest.
Chandrama Shah, 26
street artist, Kuleshwor
I have been professionally practicing mehindi art from the past11 years. I am an expert in heavy and professional designs, including Arabic, Rajasthani, Marwari, and bridal. Due to the clarity of Arabic designs, it is preferred by the youths.
Our business has been affected by commercial parlor’s intervention. People prefer visiting parlors even though we provide services of similar quality, if not better, at a more competitive price.
Dristi Adhikari, 24
Being a mehendi artist was my childhood dream. I started learning the art form by copying designs and methods from the internet. I have been working as a professional mehindi artist from the past seven years. The influx is heavy especially during Shrawan, and wedding seasons.
I would recommend that you take services from a professional artist rather than street artists. I’m saying this from personal experience as I have noticed street artists not investing sufficient time in their work. Prices of mehendi vary according to their design, and complexity. However, even in a professional studio, mehindi prices start from just Rs 100.
Nikeeta Tapol, 24
I am an MBA student, and I have been fascinated by this art form since my childhood. Though I don’t find enough time because of my study schedule, I advertise my work on social media during my leisure. Contrary to the past, people have started hiring professional artists to flaunt better patterns and designs.
These days, youngsters have access to the internet and they decide what they want. I also try to elevate the story being portrayed in their hands by matching characters with their cultural significance. What’s important for the people to understand is that professional mehendi artists don’t make mistakes. Also, when you go to professional artists, you will find a better quality of work.