Henna Workshop Imparts Intricate Beauty of Ancient Art Form

Published 04.02.2013

Student News

Henna artist Bridget PunsalangMaggie K. Calkins, a pre-physician assistant major from Bloomsburg, is deftly adorned by the instructor.A quick study is Priya B. Patel, a nursing major from Morganville, N.J., applying henna to her friend, Kristen Sweeney.Exhibiting the enthusiasm that took the scheduled two-hour event well past its time slot, several of the night's 17 participants compare their creations.A short course in henna, used around the world to create decorative art on the skin, was offered March 27 in Penn's Inn. Sponsored by the Student Activities Office – and featuring Bridget Punsalang, of Aurora Mehndi in upstate New York – the presentation introduced participants to the origins, history, cultural influences, styles and art form of henna (including how to make it, apply it and care for it). A paste derived from a plant of the same name, henna is popular for special occasions and celebrations such as weddings and religious observances, as well as for cosmetic purposes. Following the presentation, Punsalang provided audience members with henna paste and a book of designs so they could put their new knowledge to work on themselves and one another. She also took time to go around the room to "henna" each participant, and shared tips on getting the most out of the age-old art.
Photos by Malinda C. Love, assistant director of student activities for diversity and cultural life