By Amanda Massa and Mustafa Mehdi Vural
Marriage can bring a smile to many people’s faces, but sometimes it brings tears. In the Turkish culture, the traditional henna night — which is performed just days before the wedding— does just that.
The henna night, or kina gecesi , is for women only. Friends and family surround the bride during the ceremony and sing the traditional henna song, high high mountain tops, or yuksek yuksek tepelere.
They shouldn’t build homes high up on the mountain tops
They shouldn’t give girls to faraway lands
They shouldn’t neglect the mother’s one and only
May the birds carry the message
I miss my mother
Both my mother and father
I miss my village
On henna night, women weep together as henna is placed in the bride’s palms and gold gifts are presented to her from her future mother-in-law as an invitation to join her family.
Take a look as The Brooklyn Ink documents this emotional day for Selda Altagul and her family.