TATTOO

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Extreme and permanent expression has been around in Ethiopian tradition from time immemorial for various reasons. In Amarigna it is called "Nikisat " and done hand-poked by thorn with black ink. The ink is made out of a carbon black which accumulates in "Mitad "or other surfaces exposed to smoke. After the black carbon is collected it has to be mixed with olive oil and "Rete", a sticky substance, then baked in a special way to make a black ink out of it.

In the Western world the tattoo was popularized by sailors returning from the Pacific and eventually was used by gangs and other groups. Today it seems as if everyone would like to have a tattoo and young Ethiopians are no exception to this trend.

While tattoos are stylish and trendy they are not universally accepted. Some employers will not hire people with a visible tattoo and many others still feel those who wear tattoos are uneducated or unprofessional.

Having a tattoo is a life-long decision and involves health risks. What looks "cool" today may look ridiculous tomorrow. If you are pressured by friends or want to do it to impress someone, remember only you will remain with the tattoo for the rest of your life. So you have to talk to yourself again and again and then decide.

If you do decide to have a tattoo, here are some factors you should consider before you roll up your sleeves:

You may want to discuss the idea with your parents.

" Try temporary tattoos before a permanent tattoo. Many designs will soon be available as temporary tattoos.

Avoid generic art and pick a design that has a personal meaning for you. You may even wish to consider a design that reflects your rich Ethiopian heritage.

Once you pick the design make it as small as you can.

Don't get a tattoo where you cannot cover it, e.g.the neck or forehead. .

Beteseb.com is in no way encouraging young Ethiopians to have a tattoo, but we have seen many young people wanting to get one. Some are seen with meaningless tattoos.

Let this be the beginning of discussion about receiving or not receiving tattoo. For the Tattoo discussion, please go to Forum > Tattoo.

 

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