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  • When I went to an International Fair, I wanted to make sure I tried everything, because different cultures fascinate me. I saw the Indian booth and noticed that people were getting henna tattoos. They looked beautiful, with the brick colored paste spread across their arms and hands. I knew that Indians were known for henna tattoos, so I kept walking. I didn't want to buy anything just yet, I wanted to look at all of the booths before making a decision on what to buy and try.

    My journey took me to the African section of the fair. It was lovely. Different foods and different languages. Tall and beautifully dark men and women standing around representing their respective countries, gorgeous smiles on their faces. As I glanced at the different booths, I found myself stopping to admire a booth where people were getting henna tattoos. I was shocked. I didn't know Africans participated in the henna tattooing tradition. And the henna was a black color. And the designs were actual images, rather than abstract designs. Dragons, flowers, leaves, skulls. Not quite like the Indian designs.

    Although the line was massive, I stood and waited until it was my turn to have the cool, black paste spread around my hand. As I sat there, the African women began talking to each other. They spoke in Arabic! Again, I was shocked, it was beautiful. It had slipped my mind that plenty of Africans spoke Arabic.

    Eventually, the paste began to peel off and I carried my experience around with me for about a week. I discovered that I had a compulsive habit of washing my hands, so the tattoo did not last very long. But, I was able to relay my experience to others when they'd look at my hand and ask what it was.
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