As part of our Project for Women, courses are held for young girls so they have an opportunity to take part in different learning workshops.
In addition to the sewing class, we also have beautician courses, henna, ABC, computers, etc. In this way the young girls of Amwan can join whichever class interests them most
The girls join these groups for an everyday activity permitting them to leave the home, always with parental permission, and not have to travel to Bodhgaya or be accompanied. They make new friends among the other classmates and at the end of the course after an exam they receive a Diploma for having completed it.
The past two months a Henna or Mehndi workshop was held in the Centre for Women. Mehndi is a lovely old Indian tradition where temporary tattoos are designed for use at weddings or other festivals.
In the XIIth century, the use of henna or mehndi came to India and was soon popular among certain sectors of society where it was impossible for them to purchase jewels. In view of this, they decorated their bodies with painted rings and bracelets. The beauty of the art was rapidly accepted for weddings and within a short time no bride could get married without having her hands decorated with henna.
Each design has a different meaning:
A chess board is a metaphor on the luck of the married couple. Among the animals designed, the tortoise represents fertility, the peacock is beauty, butterflies mean a transformation, glow worms are a rebirth, scorpions a protection against an evil spell and reptiles help to find enlightenment. Flower heads mean joy and happiness while stems symbolize the union present in every marriage. There are also geometrical figures – zigzag lines represent the rain, wavy lines human emotions and the square is a magical element which protects from illness. (Article by Ivan Montejo)
Last Saturday the 15 girls in the course had their final exam to complete the course.
They are really happy since they can now do the mehndi for their girlfriends, sisters, neighbours…..
The Project for Women is subsidized by private donations and the regular quotas from our members. We send you all our thanks.