Edinburgh Mela 2007 Is Multicultural Festival

Submitted by edg on Wed, 29 Aug '07 2.47pm

This weekend, Friday 31st, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd, sees the return of the annual Edinburgh Mela, a family-friendly festival of Asian and world music, street theatre, fashion, food, bhangra, Bollywood film night, and other arts events down at Pilrig Park.

While the word "Mela" literally means "festival" or "fair", organisers are keen to point out that "the Edinburgh Mela is not an attempt to recreate a south Asian mela" but rather a fusion of different influences of Scottish and international culture with aspects of traditional and contemporary Asian culture.

Music from around the globe

Music is a major component of the 3-day festival with a range of international performers lined up: citar player Baluji Shrivastav, Moishe's Bagel with its own particular brand of balkan and klezmer music, Alba Flamenco with traditional flamenco, the Tuberians Eastern European dance music and Dance Ihayami with traditional indian dance, performing in the ornate Chai Serai performance tent.

Other artists include Tibetan songstress Soname Yangchen (who performed for the Dalai Lama when he visited Edinburgh in 2004), African dance and song from Grassroots Zimbabwe, Arabic folk music from the Babylon Arabic Band, and japanese drumming in the shape of the Dojo Drummers.

Rabbie Burns in Urdu

One curiosity of the Mela is Rahat Zahid and Dr Suhayl Saadi giving a performance of the poetry of Robert Burns in Urdu and English. There's also poetry from Palestinian writer Ghazi Hussein, and a chance to preview the latest work by Scottish Theatre Company 7:84 called The Algebra of Freedom. Scottish refugee group Da Chicks will also be performing a theatre piece from Refugee Week. Comedian Mahtab Khan, author of “The A to Z of all things Asian,” is also lined up.


The programme kicks off with the Sakhain on Friday from 6-9pm in the Main Marquee at Pilrig Park. Tickets are £3 (£1.50 for under 12s).

Events on Saturday and Sunday start at around 12 noon and run into the evening.

For more details about the Edinburgh Mela visit http://www.edinburgh-mela.co.uk/