Monday, August 12

MY STYLE | NEW TATTOO





Since reading the Dali Lama a few years back and being inspired about the foundation of its meaning being based on kindness, I have been a little bit obsessed with Thai tattoos and their meanings.  The
designs are so beautiful and feminine and have comforting meanings, so when I booked my holiday to to Koh Samui I decided it was time to go for it and planned to have a Thai tiger tattooed on my back.

First I brought a book and researched the history of Thai tattooing as there is certain spiritual journey you have to take in order for the body art to hold its power.  I decided to opt for the Thai tiger, which actually isn't a tiger, but a mythical animal which happens to resemble one.  The 'tiger' symbolize protection and was the mythical animal tattooed onto worriers bodies before they went to war in order to protect them from harm.


My first night in Koh Samui I sourced the best local tattoo artist and booked in my appointment.  Traditionally Thai tattoos were inked by monks in the temples with bamboo sticks, however I opted against this tradition as I was a little worried about the hygiene factor as I am a little bit of a worrier!  So instead I had the artwork done in a tattoo parlor and then journeyed to a Temple in Bangkok to get it blessed by a monk.

On the day of my tattoo I was feeling anxious and nervous.  I was one hundred percent convinced and happy with the design I had chosen but was a little worried about the whole process.  I have had tattoos done before but it was a very long time ago - and when you are younger you are a little less fearless!  Nethertheless I was committed, so armed with a very strong pina colada, I made my way to the tattoo parlor with a friend for moral support.

As soon as we started tattooing I was fine.  Yes it does hurt a little but nothing that you cannot handle.  I was booked in for two and half hours and I was really pleased with myself as I pushed on through with no breaks and the whole piece was finished in under and hour.  I was so pleased with my new body art once I saw it in the mirror and so happy I went through with it. 

The next step was to travel to a temple and have my Thai tattoo blessed by a monk so I decided to do this in Bangkok.  I went to the Temples in China Town next to the Golden Buda and the day I went happened to be a religious holiday so there were Monks everywhere.  The Temples were so beautiful, embellished in gold, and so much detail in every aspect of the architecture and there was something quite peaceful about seeing the Monks walking around in their orange robes.

At a local store, I purchased some robes and flowers for offering and went into the Temple to approach a Monk about blessing my tattoo.  In a small corner of the Temple I saw a monk who looked quite young mediating on a stand.  I nervously knelt down in front of him and layer down the robes and flowers and because the Monk was still and silent I really didn't know if I was suppose to be approaching him or not.  He opened his eyes and nodded at me with his hands in the normal prayer position.  I asked him if he spoke English and at my delight, he did, so I explained that I had had a Monk tattoo done and needed to have it blessed so it held meaning.

The Monk was happy to do so and told me to put my hands together in front of my chest and he dipped some bamboo sticks into Holy water and sprinkled it over my head and body.  He said some words, which naturally I did not understand, so I just closed my eyes and enjoyed the experience.  After my blessing the Monk asked me about where I was from and when I said I was from Dubai he was intrigued to hear more.  He asked about the weather, the scenery and about my holiday in Thailand so far.  It was such a lovely moment and I was happy to have had the experience.

So this is my new ink!  My Thai mythical animal with words written around it in the language of the ancients Monks meaning protection.