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Feast for Asian eyes

London Mela 2005 celebrated South Asian culture and creativity from the UK and overseas.
PTI | By Asian News International, London
UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2005 07:28 PM IST

Bollywood and British Bhangra legends were two of the highlights at the London Mela 2005, a one-day festival celebrating South Asian culture and creativity from London, the UK and overseas.

The event, with twelve zones covering 30 acres of Gunnersbury Park, is one of the only melas in the country that commissions new work, provides a platform for emerging British acts, and brings traditional and classical art forms to a wider audience.

Performers included Bollywood legend Usha Uthup; Legends of British Bangra - Alaap, DCS and Malkit Singh - performing together for the first time; and award-winning singer-songwriter, Susheela Raman.

It is the third year that the Mayor of London has supported the London Mela, which is produced by Ealing Council in partnership with Hounslow Council.

On the occasion, London's Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "The London Mela is a hugely popular festival. It reflects the unity in our city and is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the contribution that diverse Asian communities make to culture, life and business in London."

Cllr Leo Thomson, Leader of Ealing Council, said: 'The London Mela is now an integral part of the country's cultural calendar, and it is completely appropriate to host the festival in Ealing, a borough with one of the most diverse communities in London. The Mela just keeps getting bigger and better every year and we are truly proud in Ealing to have been involved in such a fantastic event right from the beginning.'

Cllr Colin Ellar, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: 'Hounslow is honoured to host this great festival again this year, which really places the creativity of South Asian music at the forefront of our community. This year's Mela had a wonderfully diverse line-up of performers. It was a lively and enjoyable day offering an opportunity for everyone across London to experience different cultures and receive a warm welcome at the same time.'

The London Mela is the climax of the Ealing Summer Festival, which  has previously attracted crowds of up  to  85,000. Principal sponsors for the London Mela 2005 were Barclays; Sunrise Radio; Sony Entertainment Television Asia.

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