Multicultural Arts At The Belfast Mela

One of the greatest things about modern society is the vast array of cultures that make up a community.

On 26th August the Belfast Mela takes place in the Belfast Botanic Gardens, celebrating the rich cultural diversity that makes up the city. The word mela is a Sanskrit word meaning “to meet”, referring to a gathering of all sizes and for a variety of reasons from commercial bazaars to sporting events.

The Mela is a celebration of all that makes up a culture – its food, music, art and of course its people. Here is a handful of the exciting and colourful events taking place.

Music and Dance

Here are just some of the music and dance highlights you can expect on the day:

  • South Asian Dance Academy – This group was created by Belfast Mela, and this dance troupe are the first of its kind in Ireland. Made up of performers from a wealth of back grounds – Sri Lanka, America, Iran, India, and Northern Ireland of course – they have become experts in many dance forms including Bollywood and Kathak.
  • Balkan Alien Sound – An amazing melting pot of nationalities (Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Serbia) and music (folk, jazz, and blues), this is a sound like nothing else you’ve ever heard with their gypsy and klezmer influences with guitars, accordions and of course the amazing musical acrobatics of the violin.
  • Ibuki Taiko – Taiko is a traditional Japanese form of drumming brought to Northern Ireland and performed by local enthusiasts, and the word Ibuki means “breathe” – a metaphor for the beautifully multicultural life that is growing in Northern Ireland.

It’s not just about music and dance; part of the fabric that makes up a culture is its food, crafts and fashions.

World Food Market

Whenever people travel the one thing they always do is eat, and they do a lot of it.

The World Food Market is brings the food to you with a selection of exotic curries, fragrant Moroccan tagine, sausages from Poland, and much more – oh and don’t forget good old fish and chips. There is no danger of going hungry today!

Craft Village

To truly understand a culture you need only to look at its art and what has inspired it.

It’s like a shopper’s dream with a grand selection of stunning Asian clothing and fashions as well as intricately and lovingly crafted works of art by some of the most talented locals. Get a beautiful henna tattoo or get your face painted with stunning Chinese calligraphy – don’t worry, it will was off!

The end of August is merely the middle of the summer, so while you’re enjoying your trip to Belfast, this one day event should not be missed, and it’s a perfect for spending a day with the kids. It will be held at the Belfast Botanic Gardens on Sunday 26th August.

The gardens are near the city centre and close by to most of the main hotels in Belfast, so getting to and from the gardens will be a breeze.

Visit the Belfast Mela website for full details of what will surely be a spectacular day.

Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article links back to