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.
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.”