Brunei Darussalam

A Little Girl, Her Mum and Their Henna Tattoo

Well known for its cool and fresh climate from the tropical heat of George Town, Penang Hill is an ideal getaway for those seeking respite from tropical heat and hectic lifestyles; it is a popular holiday retreat to the locals as well as tourists. Shortly after getting off the Furnicular Train, I came across a Middle Eastern family of three with the mother and daughter pre-occupied with the finishing touches of Henna Tattoo on their hands. Having been warned about taking pictures of Middle Eastern visitors who generally take offence to being photographed in public regardless of circumstances, I approached my subjects with tact; I had a brief conversation with the child’s father who was watching his wife and daughter having a good time. Obvious of my intent, the child’s father jokingly asked if these pictures would “uploaded on YouTube”. In my context of social media sharing, I take it he meant Facebook.

A Middle Eastern child, encouraged by her father, poses for the camera with her freshly crafted henna art.
I later learnt that Henna art is a very popular attraction among Arab women who have visited Penang Hill and I can see why. Here, the adorable kid

According to a Wikipedia article, “Henna has been used to adorn young women’s bodies as part of social and holiday celebrations since the late Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean. Henna was regarded as having “Barakah,” blessings, and was applied for luck as well as joy and beauty. Brides typically had the most henna, and the most complex patterns, to support their greatest joy, and wishes for luck. Some bridal traditions were very complex, such as those in Yemen, where the Jewish bridal henna process took four or five days to complete, with multiple applications and resist work.”

Henna tattoos are non-permanent dying or staining on the top layer of skin using a henna paste product, the process is called Mehndi. The tattoos are generally an intricate design and brown and sometimes black in color. They will fade in time, about 2-4 weeks, depending on the type of henna that has been used and your teen
Apparently, henna tattoo is close to impossible to remove except through the natural fading but, some believe you can speed up the fading by applying hydrogen peroxide to the area daily.
The girls from our group perusing a photo album for samples of Henna Tattoo that may tickle their fancy.
Evident from this picture, it takes a while for newly drawn Henna tattoo to dry.

3 thoughts on “A Little Girl, Her Mum and Their Henna Tattoo

    1. Hello Jiayi,

      I haven’t visited Penang Hill since 2011 so I can’t say if the henna operator is still there or not. But I’m making a trip to Penang next week with the family I’ll be sure to update you when I return (hope for good weather on the day we head up to Penang Hill).


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