Sunday 19 August will see the international and multicultural spirit left in the air from the Games settle in Gunnersbury Park for the O2 London Mela. This is the 10th anniversary of the free annual event, which should be a hit among families from all backgrounds and parts of the city, regular mela-goers and newcomers alike.
Despite taking inspiration from India’s traditional gatherings, the event draws on many different cultures from all over Asia. Nepalese musicians Naumati Baja will perform, as will Chinese all-female drumming group Red Poppies, who featured in the Beijing 2008 Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The mela also pays particular attention to the Muslim Eid celebrations, with a specialist Eid Stage arranged by the Mayor of London. Others taking part include singer Jaz Dhami, DJ Sanj and melodic rock band Hadez.
The carnival section is sure to be the highlight. Journeying around Gunnersbury Park and the surrounding area, the fantastical sights of the procession, including a mechanical menagerie, stilt walkers and the Bollywood Brass Band, will ensure a vibrant fusion of Asian culture.
Numerous stalls and exhibitions will offer samples of Indian culture. Cuisine and Fine Arts opportunities are always popular but this year will provide information on careers and local London businesses. A Kids Zone, Classical Stage and mainstream talent on the Main Stage should offer something for almost everyone, making this a truly fun-filled day for the whole family.
O2 London Mela, 19 August, 1 – 9pm. Gunnersbury Park, London W3 8LQ
By Snehal Shah