One dot, two dot.. 20 dot. the little tube of henna paste moved up and down over the once solid color skin that is now temporary decorated with a henna skin design. Free henna skin designs were available for anyone who came to the food court Monday afternoon, and were part of Kaleidoscope week activities and compliments of the International Club. Eleven female students received the exotic temporary tattoos.
Nirmala Narayan, a graduate student and member of the International Club, agreed to help Jennifer Marks-Gold, International Club advisor, with the event.
“People most often get henna tattoos for special occasions, like weddings or just because they want one,” Narayan said. She has been involved with the trend in the past and once had her hands and feet done for her sister’s wedding.
“I couldn’t move for three hours,” Narayan said remembering the day she had her feet and hands done. She continued to tell of many other experiences with henna skin designs and explained how the henna paste is all natural.
Narayan owns a henna plant and explained that grinding the leaves and mixing with water “creates a henna paste at its best.”
Henna tattoos are popular down the shore in the summertime and cost about $25, so the students that took advantage of the workshop walked away with an exotic natural gift, all for the price of sparing a small amount of time.
The skin design lasts about six to eight weeks after the initial paste hardens and falls off. The paste falls off after a short amount of time of 20 minutes, but the tattoos had to be put in places on the body that were exposed for the rest of the day to avoid smearing under clothing.
There were no dominant designs asked for by those who participated in the workshop. The participants trusted Narayan and asked her to go with her instincts for designs.
During the process Marks-Gold was happy to share information on the skin tattoos and the International Club.
“The International Club promotes diversity and cultural awareness,” Marks-Gold said, “and we were very pleased to promote these things during Kaleidoscope Week.” The International club is a perfect example of diversity, while being composed of members from every continent in world except for Antarctica.
At 2 p.m. on Monday when the workshop ended, Marks-Gold’s daughter, Maddy Gold, smiled and donned her new henna tattoo. “This was a good experience for her,” Marks-Gold said.