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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

henna & cloves



Welcome to the lushdreamer blogsite.
I've just returned home... Amsterdam, after a total of 14 weeks travelling through South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia and Zanzibar. It's been amazing to have the chance to just pack up and hit the skies, roads and oceans and make my way around new and familiar places.

Here is a photo taken by Ruben, he calls it "the cactus", of my henna drawing done in Zanzibar. I also had a big beautiful drawing made on my back (shoulder blades to tail bone). What a wonderful way to spot a temporary tattoo. Unfortunately they're both fading away.

My last day in Zanzibar was spent with family of Farida's... my good friend and filmmaker Farida Nyamachumbe. The young girls took me to a henna artist (who made her drawings freestyle - with no preconceived design) and then later Bibi (grandmother) Miriam, in her early seventies, bent-backed and with curled fingers, gave me a full body scrub. I was treated to intimate body cleansing rituals for married women. Unfortunately, due to language barriers (I don't speak Swahili and she only speaks very limited English) I missed out on her grandwomanly advice. This experience made me think: what do we (Afropeans*) miss out on from our own culture when we do not understand or speak the same language as our grandmothers? What simple pleasures and complex theories are being lost by our generation?

*Afropean
Person who relates both to Africa and Europe. Usually a person of African descent who lives in Europe and has European tastes and tendencies. Also children of both African and European parentage. (coined by my sister Namene: "Mutaleni - you're so Afropean!")

Hmmm...

*lushdreamer