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Entertaining: Bangladeshi students share their culture at fundraiser (3/26/23)


Freshman multimedia journalism major Elizabeth Hamby was the first to attend the event. She has done henna art on herself before, but it was never used on her with real techniques and materials until now.

Photo by Zach Hoffman

SEMO’s University Center is buzzing with students coming to get a glimpse of Bangladeshi culture.

The Bangladesh Student Organization held a henna fundraiser at the University Center on March 23rd. These funds will be used for the Bangladesh Night held in April every year.

Bangladeshi students offer SEMO students the opportunity to get authentic henna tattoos.

Freshman finance major Shariqa Tahsin has been a henna artist since she was 10 years old.

“When you’re a kid and you see your older kids doing this, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s cool, I want to do it.’ You see them and you keep trying. I was Tried it on tissues and pages, then tried it on my hands, and little by little, slowly, I learned,” Tahsin said.

Henna tattoos are of great cultural significance to Bangladesh and have been widely integrated into Muslim culture. They are used in weddings and religious festivals, Tahsin said.

Authentic henna materials are hard to find in the US.

“You have to buy it from places like Indian cultural stores because you can’t get it anywhere,” Tahsin said.

Freshman computer science major Nazha Hossain draws an anchor for graduate higher education administration major Nick Kalinin in honor of his time in the US Navy.

Photo by Zach Hoffman

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden website, the painting was made with a dye that comes from the leaves of Lawsonia Inermis, also known as the henna plant. The plant is found throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia and has medicinal and decorative uses. However, according to the site, its primary use is for henna tattoos.

Swampnil Moon, a senior computer science major, helped put on the event. Moon came to the United States seeking greater flexibility and opportunities in education.

“exist [Bangladesh], what I see is that they strictly adhere to the syllabus.it’s here [United States]we can go out and learn in different ways,” Moon said.

Moon will also coordinate and host the annual Bangladesh Night in April.

“This is an annual cultural celebration for us. We do it mainly because we have a lot of big events in Bangladesh,” Moon said. “Because those aren’t followed here, we have a big community here that grows every term and we want to give these students the feeling, the excitement or the joy of having a big event here at the university.”

Moon likes America and Bangladesh. One aspect of Bangladeshi culture that he will integrate into the United States is a sense of appreciation and acceptance in his home country.

“We appreciate any appreciation for anything, especially when we have an event. We’re open to all kinds of people,” Moon said.

Bengal Night will be held on Saturday, April 29 at 5:30 pm in the Cal Ballroom. This event is open to all SEMO students.


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