‘Orange Generation’


Akash  (7)

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I grew up seeing my ancestors’ orange beards or hair. It is so common in our culture that I was hardly curious to know why older Muslim people colour their hair, beards or moustaches. With time I learned and found out that it was very natural to know  about the importance of henna in Muslim Culture.

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hajrat ali (2)

But for the first time I realized and wanted to know about the real motivation of different individual Muslim men and women for dyeing their grey hair. The first time I started asking the question was when many of my foreigner friends asked me about it frequently during their visits in Bangladesh. Then I started noticing that this colour is making this older generation different. So I started asking the Muslim older generation why they colour their grey beards or hair and what is it that they are so fond of?

abdul kader (3)

abdul malek

abdul sobahan

This series consists of portraits of men and women in Bangladesh who have dyed their hair or their beard using the orange-red colour produced by the flowering Henna plant. They shared with me why they use this henna in particular. It’s very common in Bangladesh to see one older person in five old people with orange hair (male or female), and men with orange beards or orange moustaches.

hajrat ali

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During Ramadan dying hair or beards is a very common practice as Henna dying comes from religious beliefs too. It has been believed that the Prophet Muhammad (SM) dyed his beard and hair as well. Some men and women who have returned from the Haaj, the Islamic pilgrimage also practice Henna dying. Not only in Bangladesh, but many Muslims across all continents apply Henna dye and coat their hair to get this bright coloured look.

barasat hossain

johir uddin

jabbar 70 (4)

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For those who did not reference religion as playing a role in their decision to color their hair, they consider it admirable to do so. They believe, Henna covers their head and body and makes them look good in their old age. Therefore, for some other elderly people, especially women, Henna is mostly used as a cosmetic thing for their grey hair.  A lot of men also see a red beard as preferable to a grey or white beards.  Besides this reason many older persons usually follow this practice for cultural or traditional reasons, as they saw that older generations always prefer henna dying.

julhas uddin (3)

musle uddin

julhas uddin (2)

Why did you use Henna dye?

Answers of question:

mohammad sagir

‘I am not old. We all eat polluted food and that causes hair loss and greying is faster. Henna helped to hide my grey hair. Grey means old’ – Mohamaad Sagir

gias uddin (1)

‘It’s our Sunnat. Our Prophet Muhammad used it’ – Gias Uddin

abdul majid

‘Henna helps to clam down my head and body. I dye my hair every month.’ – Abdul Majid

yousuf haolader (1)

‘I use henna dye because I love to do it. What else!’- Yusuf Haulader

mohammad oli (2)

‘I love color more than grey. It’s my fashion. Ha ha ha’ – Mohammad Oli

obaidullah

‘It distinguishes Muslim. It is our culture’ – Obaidullah

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‘Who likes grey hair? I want to be young. Ha ha ha’ – Kashem

gias uddin (2)

‘Most of my friends do henna dying. For the last two years I am doing it also’ – Gias Uddin

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‘Since I have come from the Haaj I started applying Henna to my hair. It has religious value’- Abdul Samad

abdul kader (4)

‘Not only have I, but my wife has dyed her hair to hide the grey. Both of us want to remain young. Ha ha ha’ – Abdul Kader

amina (3)

‘It’s our tradition, our Muslim tradition’ – Amina

mohammad alam (3)

‘My grandfather did it, my father did it and now I am doing it. All older Muslim people love to practice this generation after generation.’ – Mohammad Alam

 

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37 thoughts on “‘Orange Generation’

  1. এই ভীড় ভাট্টার দেশে এত কোলাহলের মাঝেও যে মানুষগুলোকে আলাদা চোখে দেখা যায় সেটা আপনার ছবি দেখে নতুনভাবে উপলব্ধি করি। আর অবাক হই। অসাধারণ একটি অ্যালবাম। ধন্যবাদ ও শুভকামনা 🙂

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  2. 🙂 I was using henna dying when I was young. It gave a nice warm highlight to dark hair. When it turned out to orange because of the gray hairs I stopped. …I wasn’t aware of its cultural and religious background.
    As usual wonderful portraits and story. Thank you! Greetings from Croatia

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  3. আমি শুধু মুগ্ধ হই আপনার উপস্থাপনায় ❤ অসম্ভব ভাল লাগে আপনার প্রতিটি কাজ,আপনার কাজের কোন মন্তব্য করার সাহস আমার নেই, শুধু বলতে পারি অনুপ্রেরণা পাই,আপনার মতো একজন মানুষ হতে চাই !!
    অনেক অনেক শুভকামনা 😀

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  4. I love this, mashaAllah. It makes me miss my grandmother who passed away in April, May Allah envelope her with His Mercy. This is such a wonderful photo journal. Thank you for sharing.

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