Lougborough Mela is an annual partnership event presented by diverse communities in collaboration with Human Rights and Equalities Charnwood, Charnwood Arts, John Storer Charnwood, Charnwood Borough Council and local community groups and individuals.
The 2014 Mela is the fifteenth since the first held in Loughborough Town Hall in 1999. The first outdoor Melas were held on Southfields Park before it moved to the Market Place, in the heart of Loughborough.
Most Melas have a strong South Asian focus. However, from very early on the original Mela committees decided that in a small town such as Loughborough all communities should be invited. This has created a unique cross-cultural focus with the festival promoting a large number of performances and activities from diverse arts and cultural backgrounds. Along with other events such as Picnic in the Park and the Christmas Lights Switch On it contributes greatly to social cohesion within the town.
Loughborough Mela is an artistically led celebration of culture and creativity. It is inspired by local through to international talent and celebrates identities through a programme of dance, music, food and other creative activities.
The event was opened by the Mayor of Charnwood, Councillor Paul Day and got off to a strong start with dance and music ranging from classical Indian dance, through Bhangra to Bollywood and rap to ballads!
A sudden downpour did little to dampen spirits as dancers led by Kats Hayes-Ramdeo carried on dancing through the gusting winds and rain.
Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning to 'meet'. It is used on the Indian sub-continent for all sizes of gatherings and can be religious, commercial or sports related.