March 26, 2010

Henna Nostalgia

The other day I went to a friend’s Henna party. The overall atmosphere was great and I had so much fun being there and watching the girls enjoy their time dancing and signing and having pleasant and unforgettable moments in the company of the people they love and care about.

The theme of the night was ‘Indian’, so the bride and her sisters and also the kids wore Indian costumes, and so did I. For those of you who know the Arab Henna Party traditions, you would know that there is usually this  ‘Sufra’ thing, where there would be various kinds of decorations and beautifully designed pots and glassware, and of course giveaways. This is originally an Iranian tradition, but now it has become widely practiced amongst so many people, who consider it an important part of the wedding festivities. 

‘Sufra’ could be done in different ways, and now that it has become this popular, you would find endless creative ways to do it. The more I see of it, the more convinced I am of the fact that it is nothing like it used to be anymore. Nowadays it tends to be inventive and also innovative. People are coming with all sorts of ideas to make their ‘Sufras’ look more dazzling and appealing to the eyes!

Here are examples of different Sufras:

Of course these are only samples I have found on the internet, but I have seen much more beautiful Sufras that took my breath away! Anyhow, back to the Henna party I went to, the giveaways they had were colored coffee cups covered with small pieces of glittering chiffon cloth. Inside those cups, there was Henna, sprinkled with red and green glitters; just like the bride’s dress. They gave me six cups, and because I knew I would not use them all, I had to empty some of the Henna inside so it would not dry up and go to waste. So I went to my bathroom and put those cups under the tap, for the henna to be washed away. While I was doing that, I could smell the fragrant smell of the henna. It was so strong that I just could not do anything but stand there sniffing it with a wide smile on my face; indulging in its magical and unique aroma. I am a henna person by the way, I just go weak in the knees at the sight of henna and I would be so proud and jubilant every time I had my hands painted with henna.

The one thing you probably do not know about what henna does to me is that it fills me with a strange and overwhelming feeling of nostalgia. I did experience it while I was washing those cups of the henna. It always reminds me of something ancient and pure and worthy. It makes me think of happiness in the true sense of the word. When I smell henna, I see myself going back in time, when my cousins and I would have our hands painted with henna for Eids and weddings. That was always the first thing we thought of, amongst our other endless preparations for Eids and wedding parties alike.

Henna makes me nostalgic for days that would never come back, for a childhood I will always remember with pride and fondness.

Henna is a symbol for the past, and a future I cannot fully see. It is a token of love and remembrance, and a ticket to a rare kind of joy and happiness. It is the identity that has preserved its value over so many generations which I cannot even keep track of.

It is love.. It is joy.. It is the smile of a happy and a proud bride. It is learning how to belong to something that spiritually means a lot to you.

It is my secret nostalgia!


Wafa' said...

do you know that nobody believes me when i tell people that i don't like henna, not only don't like, i hate it :(
i am trying my best to like it but can not.
Glad though that you had fun at the party :)

Texan in UAE said...

You know, I get up in the morning wanting to see if you made a new blog post. LOOOOOOL Call me strange, but you really know how to make a sister happy and smile. While reading your blog post, I just can't help feel the same way you do. I love the way oud smells, Every jummah I smell it and when I am putting in on my wrists, I feel the same as you do when your sniffing the henna. I know to well how you feel. Subhana'Allah.

You have truly caught my heart. I am addicted to your blog, as well as YOU.


You light up my life!

OmAbdullah said...

You know I love henna! Its soo beautiful. But once i wear it once, im good for a while. I hate the aftermath lol the way it fades! I just wish i could wash it off after that LOL

ALhamdulillah you had a great time. MashaAllah ! Wish I could have been there too! sounds like fun


Strawberry said...

Really I enjoyed reading your post ...
I loved it .. and I wanna thanks Texan, because
I knew your blog by her blog :) ...

I love watching pics for ( sufra ) Insha'a Allah my day will come very soon :) and I'll put the pics
in my blog hahaha

Thank you sis ...Keep going

See yaa....

Faith said...

Ahhh I so agree <3

Miss Dreamer said...


You know some people do not like Henna, just as much as you. So you are perfectly normal LOL


My sweet sister, what an honor for me that a great blogger as you are wakes up in the morning, everyday, and immediately check my blog! I don't really know what to say, I get speechless whenever I am as emotionally overwhelmed as now. I love Oud very much;))

You caught my heart too sweetie and I love you so very much

And you light up my world:)


OH I do hate how it looks when it is fading away! But that does not stop me from loving it so much and wanting to have it my hands all the time;D

Thanks sweetie


I am so glad you enjoyed reading my post and that you also loved my blog. I am forever grateful for my dear sister Texan for encouraging people to visit my blog.

Insha'Allah you will get to have an amazing Sufra sweetie. We shall wait for the pics;P



Thank you sweetie. Glad you are here:)

um nassooori said...

Hi, I've made my promise and read your blog.i liked the way you described 'sufra' but couldn't share the nice smell of henna with u hahahaha

Aneesah said...

Machalla I love all things shiny and glitter Sufra looks like a great idea for a themed party I love it. Nostalgia is the best emotion I love how it evokes feeling of comfort and warmth, like a whisper of a treasured scent in the air that you try to grasp but cant hold on to.

Noor said...

Asalam Alaykum,

Ahh your blog is so cute and I love Henna too.

Miss Dreamer said...

Um nassooori,

Thank you for visiting my blog sweetie. That means a lot to me really. I can understand that people have different tastes when it comes to Henna;P


Yeah Sufra is amazing. Oh so you agree with me about the nostalgia bit, Yaaay that is just awesome sweetie;P


Thank you sweets. I am glad you love my blog. You are always welcome:))

Twizzle said...

ohhh I am not the biggest fan of henna a bit like Wafa' as well!

I mean, don't get me wrong, I loooove the designs, they are beautiful. But I am not fond of the smell that much... it is a bit strong.

But I would still get it done all the time I think... except the first 'Eid after moving here I went and had henna done and my skin hived up everywhere the henna was, so my skin was all gross and bumpy up until the henna completely faded. I was told it was because they put petrol in it.

Inshallah I will mix my own and do it if I ever absolutely crave having it done.. :)

I have burn scars on my arm from an accident when I was 2 years old and I would be shy to show my arms to people but I just realized the other day I can get that all covered up with henna :)

Miss Dreamer said...


LOL I know many people who are not fond of henna, just like you;P The designs are indeed wonderful! Oh, I am sorry about the scars you have sweetie:(
But I am sure you look beautiful despite that:)
They do put petrol in it you know! That is why sometimes it makes my skin sting! I love it all the same though;P

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