Junior gets wrist tattoo to honor the beauty of life
Kali Bowden | Staff Photographer
Marnie Landau got a tattoo of a Hebrew symbol to remind her of the importance of life, and all that is part of it. She got the tattoo with her friend to honor losses they both suffered that year and to pay homage to her religion.
“This is something that is meaningful to me,” Landau, a junior communication sciences and disorders major said, “In the end I’m always going to be happy with it because it represents important factors of my life.”
The tattoo, on her right wrist, is the Chai symbol meaning “life” in Hebrew. The two components of the symbol together create the number 18, an age Landau describes as a symbol of reaching womanhood or manhood. She said in the Jewish religion, it’s common to receive $18 on their birthdays, also known as “giving Chai” or “giving life”.
Landau was most recently reminded of the fragility of life after the sudden death of her friend Britny Kabic, who passed away earlier this year. The event helped Landau realize the importance of her life and the lives of others.
Landau never thought she would get a tattoo and wasn’t planning on getting one until her friend from home asked her to join her tattoo session.
Since coming to Syracuse, Landau said she has become more open to new experiences and interacted with people of all backgrounds. This new world view is what prompted Landau to be spontaneous and go for it.
“I was very religious back home and I came here and I met different people,” she said. “In high school I would have never gotten this.”
Deciding on which specific tattoo to get is one of the harder decisions in the process, Landau said. But she was able to make her decision in just one week.
Landau compares the experience of making this decision to choosing that one favorite thing on the menu, that you know you will always enjoy.
“That is the worst analogy ever,” she said, laughing.
Landau said she is happy she chose a important symbol in her religion. She has plenty of jewelry with the symbol and knows many Jewish people who have the same tattoo because it is so important.
The Chai symbol is prominent on Landau’s wrist, which she chose because it will always remind her of her identity.
“It’s easy for me to see. You never forget you’re Jewish, you never forget when and why you got it, and I’ll never forget my parents’ horrified reaction to it,” she joked.