Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Red Hands

I am getting the urge to dye something again. I remember when my roommates in college would get this same urge, normally it meant it was time for a new hair colour or just a few high lights around the face. However, when Uyghur girls get the urge to dye something it is normally their hands or their fingernails. I must admit I have dyed mine three times and actually kind of enjoy it.

When dying your hands there is only one colour RED. The girls buy henna powder on the street for just pennies a box and then mix it with hot water. The paste can be put on the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, nails and hair. You have likely seen the beautiful designs that they use henna to make in India, unfortunately here the effect isn't quite as decorative. I have asked a number of my friends what the henna symbolizeses. I have read that in strict Islam it is related to fertility. Most of my Uyghur friends have never heard that, they say that there is no meaning, that it is just like makeup to make you beautiful.

Don't you think it is beautiful?

Don't worry it does come off the skin in five to seven days, but will stay on your nails until they grow out. The deepness of the red depends on how long you leave it on. Most times I make up the mast, apply to my nails, wrap each nail in a little bag and than sleep like that for the night. When I get up in the morning my nails are a dark blood red. The first few days are a little scary because I often forget that my skin is dyed and when I look down it looks like I am bleeding. I have to keep reminding myself how beautiful I look to my local friends.

I will follow this local makeup tip, to try to fit in, but I think It will be a long time before I go out and buy the plant they use to get the unibrow look (which is also considered very beautiful by people who live in villages).


Anonymous said...

Hey Karen
Those aren't your hands and feet are they?

Anonymous said...

oh wow- Karen, don't do the unibrow look, please!

The henna hands and feet are kind of neat though.