The star of the show

The 6th installment of the Birzeit Heritage Week come back with many new innovations. How can we make people more interested in their heritage? Well I am happy to see that this year’s festival has found a couple of new ways to do just that. In my last post, I wrote about Amti (Aunt) Tooteh and her animated cartoon spots, but this week Amti Tooteh was starring the show at the Birzeit Heritage Week!

The character of Amti Tooteh was based on an actual old Lady from Birzeit, Amti Margarete, who participates every year in the festival, but this year her participation took a new flavor with all the attention Amti Tooteh has been gaining after her appearances on Palestive TV and on social media websites.  Amti Tooteh was even part of Dr. Laila Ghannam’s speech (Governor of Ramallah and Al Bireh).

Amti Tooteh carrying Henna and walking hand in hand with the Governor

Amti Tooteh carrying Henna and walking hand in hand with the Governor

From the minute the crowds gathered to the start the traditional wedding procession, Amti Tooteh was there carrying over her head the Henna dough decorated with flowers. Traditionally the eldest woman of the family, or the village, prepares the Henna dough at the bridegroom’s house and then carries it over her head in a procession to the bride’s house. At the bride’s house, the hands and feet of the bride are decorated with the Henna. Henna, in Palestine, has been a sign for joy and celebration as it is usually connected to weddings and happy times.

This year, four couples about to be wed participated in the traditional wedding procession and Henna at the Birzeit Heritage Week wearing their traditional Palestinian embroidered dresses.

Four Brides in traditional Palestinian dresses

Four Brides in traditional Palestinian dresses

Palestinian couple in their traditional wear

Palestinian couple in their traditional wear

Palestinian bride in her traditional white dress

Palestinian bride in her traditional white dress

Not only did the brides get the Henna on their hands, but also the Governor and other officials had their share of the joy!

The elders of the families asked for the hands of the brides

The elders of the families asked for the hands of the brides

Amti Tooteh dancing with Henna

Amti Tooteh dancing with Henna

Amti Tooteh dancing with Henna

Amti Tooteh dancing with Henna

Bride getting Henna on her hand

Bride getting Henna on her hand

Bride with Henna

Bride with Henna

Bride with Henna

Bride with Henna

Governor Dr.  Laila Ghannam getting Henna on her hand

Governor Dr. Laila Ghannam getting Henna on her hand

It was a wonderful celebration and Amti Tooteh was its star! She was even saluted by the Governor who said “Amti Tooteh embodies our heritage and land and all what is good about it!”

— Jack Rabah

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2 thoughts on “The star of the show

  1. Pingback: The Glass Maker | Jack's Daily

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