Hopefully this basic knowledge will give South African women some insight to Indian tradition, many of whom have already had the privilege of being exposed to Indian culture, food, ceremonies for religious purposes, births and weddings and various forms of body decoration unique to untold festivities.
The makeup is, on the whole, pronounced and exotic and well suited to the olive and deeper toned skins.
bodily ornamentation has always played an important role in culture and everyday life and Indian girls, from an early age have learned of the importance of basic products to enhance beauty.
This form of eye makeup has been popular since ancient times and is basically khol, which in earlier times was a combination of metal, lead, ash and burned almonds. It is thought that modern khol is the product of burning ingredients resulting in a black powder residue, combined with an oil derived from sesame seeds. Kajal is used by men and women and at birth is commonly applied around a baby's eyes or used as a small black dot of the infants forehead.
Traditionally it is said to strengthen eyesight and protects against bad luck.
Bindi also called Bindu
This refers to the red dot seen on the foreheads of women. The colour red presents love and honour, but contrary to common belief does not necessarily indicate that a woman is married. More accurately the vermilion red line drawn on the parted hair indicates marital status. Any colour dot, an adhesive sign or a suitable piece of jewellery can be used and place between the eyebrows on the Chakra also called the third eye, being the centre of all spiritual energy of the body.
Mehndi is formed by grinding the leaves of the henna tree resulting in a paste which has semi-permanent properties.
The artist applies the henna creating the most beautiful, exotic intricate network of designs and is one of the famous traditions familiar to westerners who have attended Indian weddings. The significant areas are the hands, nails and the feet. Henna is used not only for decoration but also for good luck.
The above can easily tempt the imagination to travel to exotic lands, not forgetting the enticing fragrances like clove, cinnamon, sandalwood and rose much associated with Indian culture.
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