International flavour as Mela Festival gets bigger and better

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By VIEW editor Brian Pelan

I enjoyed a Cuban sandwich, spoke to a group of colourfully-dressed women from Lithuania and listened to pulsating music yesterday.

The annual Mela Festival in Botanic Gardens, Belfast, is truly an international affair. And every year it seems to get bigger and better.

The colourful spectacle was organised by by ethnic arts group ArtsEkta.

The chair of the Community Relations Council said that the festival showed that growing diversity in Northern Ireland is “unstoppable”.

Peter Osborne said: “Chinese community, Indian community, Hindus, Muslims, Christians all together and celebrating what is good about humanity as a whole.”

Nisha Tandon, executive director at ArtsEkta, said the event had been a “fantastic, fun-filled celebration”.

Ophelia and Isabella at the Mela Festival

Peter Osborne, chair of the Community Relations Council





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