Mela offers glimpse of Indian culture

Two-day festival begins Friday at Centennial Square

You are invited to a mela.

The third annual Indian Mela returns to Victoria’s Centennial Square this weekend where organizer Sabba Sall believes new experiences await Victorians at the two-day festival.

“Mela, in our language, is a celebration,” Sall said. “It is very common in India, going back 4,000 to 5,000 years. It is the sharing of food, dance and song – an opportunity to get together.”

Food booths decorated in Indian decor sell traditional fare alongside entertainment and fashion shows, each celebrating the sights and sounds of the Indian culture.

“It is a step into a whole other way of life,” Sall said. “We want to share our culture. It is an opportunity for the Indian community to show a part of themselves. Who they are and where they come from.”

“(We) are proud of two things, of being Canadian and being Indian. This is an opportunity to display (our) pride,” Sall said.

The talents of established performers from the Lower Mainland, including Grammy-nominated musicians Aslam and Bombay-trained Kathak dancer Prajakta Trepan, join dozens of local musicians and dancers.

“It is not every day I can dress up in an Indian Bhangra,” said Saanich resident Casmine Pandher. “It feels amazing to be recognized by the community. It makes me proud.”

The 18-year-old Claremont graduate performs at the mela with dance troupe Apana Virsa for the third time. Having seen the audience grow every year, she is excited to perform in front of another large crowd

“Our everyday life isn’t super traditional,” she said. “When these opportunities come up, it is important to remind yourself of your heritage and the richness of the art we have.”

The 2012 Indian Mela at Centennial Square is held today (Aug. 17), 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday (Aug. 18), 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. All events are free.

 

For more information visit www.iccavictoria.com

 

 

Just Posted

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Sun on its way after Greater Victoria sees wettest July in six years

Environment Canada meteorologists say the drizzle is likely to end soon

Mayor’s charity tournament sells out both Bear Mountain courses

23rd annual event raises funds to make ‘a positive difference in Langford’

After Victoria dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read