Henna Night promotes cultural awareness

Alex PalmieriNews Writer

Henna Night at Southern was to promote the Muslim Student Association according to Haroon Chaudhry.

“At least 100 people showed up,” said Chaudhry, president of the Muslim Student Association. “It was really successful.”

Chaudhry said one of the main reasons the event was held was to let all students and faculty know what the Muslim Student Association is all about. The MSA, Chaudhry said, is designed to raise awareness about Islamic culture. He said there are several events held at the university to let all people to better understand the Islamic culture. Chaudhry added that Henna Night was a lot more efficient than anticipated.

“I only expected about 40 or 50 people to be there,” said Chaudhry. “The event was only from 5-7, like two hours. But we didn’t close until 8; it was real good.”

This was the first year Southern hosted Henna Night. Chaudhry said henna is like a tattoo, used for design. Every year a day before Heid, a Muslim holiday, Chaudhry said girls will go and get their hand designed. This day is called Chand Raat. He compared it to the Christmas culture in America.

“During that day, everybody just comes out, all the people will go out to places, and get their hand designed and buy clothing,” said Chaudhry. “Just like for Christmas, you know how you guys do Christmas shopping? It’s kind of similar to that.”

Henna Night had a few accomplishments according to Chaudhry. He said after the event, one of the biggest accomplishments was people actually know what henna is all about now. Because entry into Henna Night was free, Chaudhry said this was another factor to the successful population the night received.

“We did it for free,” said Chaudhry. “So a lot of people showed up; it was a way for us to advertise.”

Chaudhry said the student center was the best spot the event could have been held. He added everything went better than anticipated and it was an exceptional night.

As a new president of the MSA, Chaudhry said he has a lot of goals to achieve.

“My goal is to get the name out there,” said Chaudhry. “My goal is to be the top three club in this university.”

Zain Seyal, Vice President for the MSA, did not attend Henna Night, but said it was a success. He said henna is a very cultural thing, but when people see it from the Islamic point of view, Seyal said it is a practice, especially for the prophet Muhammad. Seyal said henna night is a form of coming together and happiness in the culture.

“It’s a lot of colors and culture that’s kind of put into this,” said Seyal.

Anam Khan, a junior communication disorders major, and part of the MSA club, said henna is a very cultural thing. She said at Henna Night, not a lot of students knew much about it. She said the whole purpose of the night was to expose people to the culture.

“We wanted to explain the culture and explain why we do it,” said Khan.

Khan said she does not want the MSA to be exclusionary. She said whole purpose of Henna Night and the other events was to promote the MSA.

“We’re just trying to be a friendly community and get more people,” said Khan. “We’re friendly; we just want other people to know, you know, to get rid of stereotypes and that kind of stuff.”

Photo Credit: Dylan Haviland – Managing Editor


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