Tuesday, March 9, 2021

India in the air

Reading Time: 3 minutesThis year’s Indian Australian Association of South Australia Indian Mela showcased diverse local talent

Adelaide’s annual Indian community mega event, Indian Mela is organised by the Indian Australian Association of South Australia (IAASA) every year to showcase the diversity of Indian culture. It includes flavours from different states, music and dance, fashion, Henna tattoos and much more.

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The Mela has been a part of the Indian community in South Australia for almost 30 years now. It has always been associated with an outdoor event at Elder Park. This year, though, IAASA broke all stereotypes by holding the event indoors, at the Adelaide Showgrounds in early May.

This year, the Mela offered a variety of Indian food, kids’ entertainment and professional Bollywood, classical and folk performances that stunned the audience. The celebration began in the afternoon with the performances from kids and some folk dances. The official segment started at 5pm and included special guests such as Governor Hieu Van Le, Minister of Communities, Social Inclusion and Multicultural Affairs Zoe Bettison, State leader of the Liberal Party Steven Marshal, Chairman of South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Grace Portolesi and several others.

“This is the time of the year when we showcase the best the Indian community has to offer, may it be food, entertainment or hospitality,” said Mudra Shah who is cultural co-ordinator for IAASA.

“I love being part of this multicultural showcase of diverse Indian community in Adelaide,” she added, saying that the preparation for the event itself and the cultural programs started months ago. The spectacular extravaganza this year being indoors, was a vision of Dr Rakesh Mohindra, President of IAASA, it was revealed.

The cultural segment was divided into two parts, the first part exhibit the diverse folk, classical and kids performances along with a second segment focusing on more of Bollywood and Classical dances. This year for the first time, an Indian orchestra from Kalalaya Academy of Indian Fine Arts presented some excellent old and new Bollywood songs. The night ended with a DJ taking over and inviting all to show off their own Bollywood moves. The Mela provided an opportunity to over 300 performers to showcase their talent.

Being an indoor event, the local community enjoyed the warm food from different parts of the India such as street food like golgappas and chats, to dosai and idli, from traditional curries and naans to ice golas and masala paans.

Dr Mohindra, IAASA President said, “We took a big risk to move this event from its traditional outdoor setting to an indoor venue, but it has paid off, with contributions from all the committee members and volunteers of IAASA.”

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