A Burmese Bangladeshi Henna and Holud Ceremony By Uzbin Photography
One thing is clear friends and that is MashaAllah, we have some amazing talented female photographers in our community. Today we want to introduce you to the beautiful work of Uzma Ansari of Uzbin Photography. One of our favorites is the lady holding the turmeric thali with burning candles. The strong chiaroscuro effects makes it such a great shot in our opinion. Below, Uzma shares with us her wonderful photography experience that she did for her friend’s henna/mehndi and holud (turmeric) ceremony.
By Photographer, Uzma Ansari
Recently I had the pleasure of photographing the Mehndi/Holud ceremony of my friend N in Buford, GA. This was truly an international affair, mixing the bride’s Burmese culture with the Bangladeshi culture of the groom’s family. Traditionally in Bangladeshi weddings, the Holud or turmeric ceremony occurs a few days before the actual wedding.
During N’s Holud, floral jewelry graced her hair, hugged her neck and draped over her mehndi-covered hands. Normally fresh flowers are used back in Bangladesh but since it’s next to impossible to find florists who can re-create these in the US, the large flowers of N’ jewelry were made of a special type of paper. The smaller flowers, however, were made of a silk material with metallic beading used to hold it all together.
Traditionally in Bangladeshi culture there are two Holud ceremonies on two different days–one for the bride and one for the groom. This all-ladies event was specifically for the bride. Sometimes families will also have separate events for the Holud and the Mehndi, but this event combined both into one exquisitely colorful celebration. Earlier that day the bride had mehndi applied to her hands/arms/feet, during the Holud ceremony tiny dabs of turmeric were applied to her skin while guests fed her sweets, and afterwards we all enjoyed some special dances from the bride’s family and friends.
During this ceremony family and friends of the bride and groom rub turmeric on their skin, which is known as a natural method for further beautifying the pair before their big day. The gorgeous decorated thalis/plates with candles you see below actually contain this special turmeric mixture, and they are brought in during the bride’s grand entrance.
Although I fell in love with all the details of the event, the one that stood out the most to me was the fish-shaped dessert. In Bangladesh fish is not only a staple of the everyday diet, but it is also a symbol for celebration and festivity. It is traditional for the groom’s side of the family to bring gifts to the bride’s side, and oftentimes this may include a whole fish dressed up as the bride/groom, or in this case a fish-shaped sweet dessert.
The details of the decor told a story of how much time and effort her family and friends invested into this gorgeous event. But asides from the decor or how stunning the bride looked in her traditional ornaments, the most beautiful part of the ceremony was how warm and loving everyone was. Even as somewhat of an outsider, everyone from both the groom and the bride’s side of the family made me feel like I was at a family wedding.
Bridal Jewelry – From Bangladesh
Hair/Makeup – Fouzia’s Salon, Lawrenceville
Mehendi decor – Nadia Chowdhury Khan
Food – Tumpa Rahman
Wedding cake – Saffron Cakes
Uzma Ansari of Uzbin Photography is a budding photographer from the South with a focus on capturing multicultural weddings from a photojournalistic perspective. With her photography she loves to capture details that make different cultures/traditions unique while still portraying the universal emotions of joy, love and celebration that we all share.