Swastika Arangetram

Open Shutter writes about these foto's:
The girl, my cousin, is getting ready for her 2-hour "arangetram," her debut performance after many years of Bharatanatyam (classical Indian dance) training from a personal guru. It's like a very formal coming of age ritual-- the family of the daughter usually invites all of their friends and family and this one even had a famous actor as the official guest of honor. The arangetram is the final step of her 10-year training, like a graduation, and will mean that she can now go public, or even be a guru to other young dancers. She was 14 when the photo was taken, and some girls debut when they're younger than that.

As for the other picture of her hands, the red markings are just a decorative accent, like jewelry. It's supposed to be a quick-and-easy version of henna, which could take hours to get right. The swastika in that form is a Hindu symbol.

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