If after all of our work visiting partners and their work in the field Nicole and I had had more time in India last week there is no doubt we would have gotten our arms hennaed. Sure, you can get it done here in the States and even buy your own henna kit (I did that years ago), but it would have meant much more getting it done in India.
Everywhere we went we saw beautiful hennaed arms and hands of women and even little girls. Even though getting hennaed would have been great I have to admit I don’t fully know the cultural significance of it. I just know it’s beautiful and would have loved to have had it done.
I go back to India for two weeks this November and perhaps I can get my arms hennaed then. I was happy, though, that when we visited a school for at-risk girls I received the welcoming red dot (bindi) on my forehead in the midst of swirling incense. That was momentous!
I found India to be a very spiritual place with a cluster of various religions living, working, and walking together. That’s what I observed on the surface.
I certainly don’t purport to know everything about India, to be sure. It seemed, to me, that so many people of various faiths lived harmoniously together. I can’t say the same about the castes and color racism, but that’s a different story for a different day.