Jul 24, 2007

More on Mehendi...

What happens when, abstracted from their core meanings or embedded stories, traditional patterns are used by people who are not aware of their signification or who do not grasp entirely their deeper meanings?

What are the consequences when, as a foreigner, i get inspired by Mehendi patterns and create my own designs, purely considering aesthetics and personal expression?
How big are the risks for misunderstandings to occur and get me into trouble? Is such an act socially acceptable?
Would people feel flattered and perceive my hand as a way for me to show my admiration and interest in their culture or would they get offended?
How protective are people with their own cultural heritage, and to what extent are they ready to let people - strangers - alter it?

On the other hand (the one without mehendi!), the fact that i do not have any knowledge of the connotations tied to the patterns, frees me from prejudices and allows me to be creative. Could that lead to the emergence of a new form that would not be considered as offending anymore?

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