Henna tattoos start off Global Village


Senior Duha Shebib

Manal Salim

[media url=”https://vimeo.com/61073434″ width=”640″ height=”360″] Doing henna in video: Duha Shebib
Music by Daphne Yu
Video by Urmila Kutikkad
Today, Monday, March 4, Global Village activities kicked off with the start of the henna booth available all day at RBHS. At the table, girls sat hunched over the hands and arms of students, with their henna tubes in hand, determinedly focused on the intricate brown designs they were drawing. Many students consistently flocked to the booth, during their lunch or AUT, to receive a unique henna tattoo themselves.
Although many students had not heard of, let alone received, a henna tattoo before, the tables were crowded most of the day with students willing to try out something new. Some students may have been attracted to the henna booth by their curiosity, but for junior Isabelle Mitchell the intricate designs were what drew her to the activity.
“I think henna’s really very pretty,” Mitchell said, “and I thought it looked really artistic on the people who have it done. So I decided to come over here because I really wanted some for myself.”
Junior Rachel Doisy felt similar to Mitchell the first time she got a henna tattoo herself. However, Doisy already experienced it at last year’s Global Village, but enjoyed it so much that she couldn’t keep the fun just to herself.
“I really think henna’s cool stuff, so I told my friend Hannah to check it out,” Doisy said. “So I came with her today, and we both got our henna done.”
And the enjoyment from the henna activity was not only experienced by the students receiving the tattoos, but also those preparing the henna. The sheer delight her henna provided to other RBHS students proved to be the greatest highlight of senior Mariam Yahya’s day.
“I am doing henna today because I just like having fun, and making other people happy is fun for me. I have fun when I see [students] laughing and liking their henna,” Yahya said. “Henna is something other people don’t know about, and it’s really easy for me, but they think it’s something really cool.”
Though to Yahya the process of creating henna designs is simple, she explains how creating the henna product itself isn’t as easy of a task. According to Yahya, henna is made by obtaining the leaves from a specific tree. These leaves are then smashed to a fine powder, and a liquid is added to make the henna stay longer and darker.
Although henna proved to be extremely popular at RBHS today, Yahya’s designs have been even more popular in past years, as she has enjoyed creating tattoos every year she has been attending RBHS. And in fact, Yahya explains how her designs are popular in other places in Columbia too, outside of school.
“I do henna in lots of places; I even do it at work. My boss actually had her son get married, so she asked me to do henna for her daughter-in-law,” Yahya said. “So basically I do it at school, home, and everywhere in my community. “
Beyond just Columbia, the art of the henna tattoos is even more popular in other countries, like Yemen, where Yahya is originally from.  In Yemen, Yahya explains that henna is used for weddings, parties, graduations. And similar to the way the henna activity created pleasure for RBHS students, Yahya said the tattoos are usually received for any event that displays happiness.
“Henna is usually used for occasions and celebrations,” Yahya said. It’s something you put on to say ‘I have something beautiful on me, so I’m happy and celebrating.’”
For more pictures of today’s henna tattoos, click here.
Global Village continues the rest of the week as follows:
Tuesday: International Song and Music
Wednesday: International Dance
Thursday: International Fashion Show
Friday: Global Village Booths
By Manal Salim 
What are you looking forward to for Global Village?