The very name mehndi conjures up images of a bride sitting in her bridal dress and wearing all her bridal makeup and jewellery, showing her hands and feet decked with stain of mehndi in rich and intricate designs. Yes, mehndi is one Asian art of beautifying the body part of women that can be termed as temporary tattoos quite unlike the permanent tattoos of the west. This art makes use of natural mehndi powder to make a paste and place it on the hands and feet of a bride. After drying, the powder leaves behind reddish brown stain that looks very beautiful and mesmerizing because of the manner in which mehndi designs are created on the hands and feet of the bride by a professional artist. Mehndi is popular across many cultures and this article takes stock of 4 most popular mehndi styles in modern times.
Indian, Party, Arabic, and African mehndi styles are the styles ruling the roost in ladies party circles and also when it comes to choosing one style for a bride. Last but not the least is the Arabic Indian fusion style that combines the features of both Arabic and Indian styles to come up with a unique, mesmerizing style of mehndi decoration.
Arabic mehndi is a style of making mehndi designs that has evolved from the Arab world. It is the simplest of all 4 designs as it does not cover entire hands and feet and leaves open many blank spaces. While the procedure to apply mehndi is same as that in the case of Indian or Pakistani mehndi designs, the patterns that are made in Arabic mehndi are totally different. With wide open spaces, the designs are not that intricate and there is much less detail as compared with Indian mehndi patterns. Most of the designs comprise of floral patterns and there is no animal or human figure as these are prohibited in Islam.
Indian mehndi is renowned all over the world for being very rich and intricate. The designs are very artistic and full of smallest of details. It takes a long time to learn to apply Indian mehndi designs as one has to learn to make elephants, peacocks, and other animal figures in an artistic manner to make the design look more attractive. Most of the skin of hands and feet gets covered by mehndi and very little skin show is possible with Indian mehndi designs.
Party mehndi is the name applied to mehndi designs that are quick to apply and result in beautifully decorated hands and feet of a woman. This style of applying mehndi, as the name implies, is ideal for women trying to get ready for an event later in the day. Family functions, special occasions like karwachauth etc are the days on which women get this style of mehndi applied on their hands and feet.
Last but not the least is African style of mehndi that is similar in style to Indian mehndi but is rather more complex in nature with very intricate details making it appear like a mesh.