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Malkit Singh to croon at Edinburgh Mela

The bhangra artiste and a billboard featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai are the main attraction of the three-day Edinburgh Mela.

india Updated: Sep 02, 2006 14:01 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Popular bhangra artiste Malkit Singh and a giant Bollywood billboard featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai are the main attraction of the three-day Edinburgh Mela.

The Edinburgh Mela that began Saturday is billed as the Scotland's biggest multicultural festival. It was set up in 1995 by Edinburgh's Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi communities, and has evolved into a celebration of cultures and traditions from across the globe including China, Africa and South America.

Other attractions this year include Sukhshinda Shinda, upcoming Yorkshire-based band Jinx, and the Pakistani boy band NRG.

   Malkit Singh on a roll

Malkit Singh replaces hip-hop artist Rishi Rich, who pulled out due to a mix-up over tour dates.

Reports from Edinburgh say a major innovation this year is the huge billboard showing the giant faces of film stars Aishwarya Rai and Shah Rukh Khan. A part of the actors' eyes have been cut away, leaving head-sized spaces. Visitors can climb behind the billboard, peer through the gap and have their photos taken.

Shaheen Unis, the Edinburgh Mela co-founder and board director, told the local media: "This billboard is both fun and inspiring. It is a perfect way to promote the visual arts and adds an important extra dimension to an already diverse programme of events.

"We expect a large number of visitors at the arts pavilion and I'm pleased that we can also confirm such a varied line-up of acts.

"The Edinburgh Mela aims to support up-and-coming acts as well as those who are already established. This year, with Malkit Singh and these young fresh talented groups performing, I'm sure no-one will be disappointed."

TV presenter Tasmin Lucia Khan, who began her broadcasting career with Zee TV in 1999, will compere the main programme this year.

Organisers have also confirmed that there will be performers and artists from Uganda, South India, Brazil and Nepal, as well as a vocal group of young refugees from around the world.

Organisers hope that this year's Mela will be even more successful than last year's event, which attracted more than 60,000 visitors.

First Published: Sep 02, 2006 13:22 IST