This post written by Chris Howe.
On 17 July the annual Mela (festival) took place at Hoglands Park, in Southampton. The event is supported jointly by Southampton City Council and the Arts Council England with the main provider being Art Asia who are the organisers and funders.
The Mela is a showcase event for many Asian artists both musicians and dancers and many other forms of art as well as promoting societies, organisations and groups relevant to the Mela. The Mela provides an opportunity for local individuals to find out what is out there for them .
Within the Mela there were stalls where people could gain information and try out sub continental culture including food, South Asian fashion, jewellery and mehendi.
SCIL`s involvement within the Mela was to have a stall of our own. Showcasing a little of our raison d’etre and the support we offer disabled people. The main attraction from our stall during my involvement was the sweet tin, however Robert mentioned that he had informed many interested individuals and groups of people about SCIL.
One of the main reasons why SCIL have a stall at the Mela is to be involved in our local community. We also want to reach out to groups that have been traditionally been out of reach from us. SCIL also advocate diversity on a number of levels and being involved in the Mela is one way of pursuing this all under one roof, as there are not many events focused on the multicultural community as one.
This was a successful event for SCIL in the most part, with thousands of people attending from all over Hampshire and the Southampton.