Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mehndi + Two Former Students, Banganga Village, Rajasthan, India, 2015

In the 'Land of Kings' these two queens honored me with their kindness. They are sisters and former students in our school, which also happens to be run by their aunt. Both continued their studies in the local government school after their time in the foundation's school. I have known them since my first year in India, and will see them in less than two months.

Their village is a magical one for me. So much has happened in this spot, and it has led to my work with two foundations. The families have treated me like a son since day one, and I look forward to returning that kindness as this work continues on their behalf.

The young sister gifting the art of Mehndi has done so over the past three years. Now it is customary for her, and her alone, to do so for me. The sense of pride that comes over her when asked to do so is abundantly clear, as in her smile in this image. She never hides how she is feeling, and this I admire about her immensely.

This will be the exact spot where she will also be teaching the sewing classes for the school. We hope that at least a dozen girls will attend, and learn a trade which will help support their families.

Those generous spirits from last weekend's showing at the Cleveland Print Room should look at their smiles, for their collective action will help the school in this very village continue to thrive.

Note: This image is a frame from the video recorded during the Mehndi session.

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