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

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

City says traffic pattern on Bay Street Bridge will stay as is until October

Commuters began facing long waits on Tuesday morning after the east-bound lane was closed

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

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

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read