Friday, June 03, 2005
Who's buying the Bagels?
I attended the Asian festival last weekend, and noticed a group of women doing Mehendi in the India pavillion.
Mehendi is the ancient art of henna body painting. The henna stains the skin, and the artwork lasts for about ten days.
Cool! Let's do it! (If it's good enough for Madonna, it's good enough for me.)
So, I stuck out my hand and a little pre pubesent girl in a sari began to doodle on my skin.
She made this long snaky swirl along my lifeline and added a few dots. I thought "Wow, there must be some good symbolism here."
Then, she put two swastickas on either side of the snaky line. AUGGGH!!!!
I thought, "now just wait. Be patient. This is an artist at work here. She will add something to it any second...yup, any second now... any. second."
But she didn't. She was done and looking up at me with her innocent doe eyes, waiting for my thanks and approval.
"Um, do you know what this symbol is?" I whispered.
"It is a symbol for God." She said proudly.
Her mother looked at my hand, and then at me.
"It's also a symbol for something else."
Her mother said something to her daughter in their native tongue.
I grabbed a napkin and tried to wipe it off, but the stain was set.
OUT DAMN SPOT! OUT I SAY!
I walked away, rubbing my palm till it was raw, knowing that the poor little thing in the sari was about to get a lesson in world history from her mother.
Alas, innocence lost.
Meanwhile, I won't be buying the bagels this week.