Bringing the Art of Henna to Indiana

For this talent contest, I chose to do henna. In Pakistan, doing henna on special occasions is a tradition. We do it for weddings, parties, religious events, and other functions. I started doing henna in the fifth grade. When I am applying henna to someone's hand, it is satisfying and requires a lot of patience. The person who is getting it cannot move or it will be messed up.

When I did it on my friends’ hands, they were amazed and happy. Seeing them so excited and happy made me feel happy. I love to make my friends happy.

I also did henna at a football game to fundraise for my culture club. Everyone loved it, and we collected a lot of donations. It was one of the best times of my exchange year.

I have always been interested in art and drawing and I love to make intricate designs. I used to make them on paper, but then I started to do henna on hands, and feet and everyone loved it.

Henna is one of the best things I have done in my host community, because it represents my culture and interests. It's also a good way to make new friends.

In the end, I would thank YES, PAX, and my host family for giving me this awesome opportunity to represent my culture in this community. Thank you so much!!

—Jawaria (YES, Pakistan), hosted by the Taylor family (IN)