Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 7°C

Search

Gallery: Indian Summer Mela celebrated at Christchurch Park in Ipswich as part of Ip-art 2014

PUBLISHED: 12:19 14 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:19 14 July 2014

The Ipswich Malayalam Association Dancers perform at the Indian Mela event in Christchurch Park on Sunday, 13 July.

The Ipswich Malayalam Association Dancers perform at the Indian Mela event in Christchurch Park on Sunday, 13 July.

Thousands of people revelled in a party atmosphere in Ipswich yesterday when the 12th annual Indian Summer Mela celebrated the country’s rich culture and history.

Indian music, dance, food, art, religion and clothing were showcased during the all-day event at Christchurch Park.

Since its inception in 2002 as an Indian Bazaar in a small hall in Kesgrave, the Mela has become an established fixture in the Suffolk calendar after being adapted by Ip-art to form a key part of its arts and culture festival.

Originated by the Ipswich and Suffolk Indian Association (ISIA), Mela, a Sanskrit word meaning “to meet”, dates back to religious gatherings in south Asia such as Diwali and Eid.

Poli Mohah, the chairman of ISIA, said the event provides a great way of bringing together people from a range of cultural backgrounds. She said: “It has grown every year and we are now on par with Melas held up and down the country.

“We are becoming a very diverse community and I think it is very important we hold these events to improve community cohesion.”

The free Mela, which was attended by around 8,000 people, was filled with vibrant performances by local artists of Indian dance, songs and music as well as yoga, tai chi, Bokwa and Bollywood workshops and demonstrations and the chance to get tattooed with henna.

Visitors could try their hand at Bollywood dancing under the watchful eye of choreographer and performer Jay Kumar, while dancers from Akula Tribal and Affinity Tribal showcased American tribal-style belly dancing with influences from flamenco, Oriental, Rajasthani and Indian Kathak dance.

Meanwhile, Melissa Bell, former lead singer of Soul II Soul and mother of former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, performed a samba-based World Cup final inspired song World Cup Vibe.

More than £2,000 was raised at the 10th annual event, which was described as “absolutely brilliant” by organisers.

The restaurateurs who are bringing a new eatery to historic Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds have said they are the “custodians” of the building.

A new chief executive has been appointed to head up a trust of 15 schools in the west Suffolk area.

Millionaire businessman Arron Banks will start his own pirate radio station off the Clacton coast to help become the Essex town’s MP if he is selected as the UKIP candidate.

The relocation of an annual showcase of countryside pursuits has been hailed a success after thousands of visitors flocked to its new rural setting.

Ipswich Conservative MP Ben Gummer got his campaign for re-election off the ground on Saturday with a little help from his parliamentary friends.

Suffolk and Essex runners will today be preparing for the big race tomorrow, but what will the weather be like?

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24