Celebrations of British-Bangladeshi art and culture will take place in Regent’s Park and the British Museum after months of preparation by Camden’s community organisations. There will be a Bangladesh Mela in Regent’s Park on Sunday 4 July, and a week of displays, workshops and other events at the British Museum.
This year’s Mela has been led by Samina Dewan, Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association’s senior community development worker. Many Camden community and neighbourhood associations have come together to produce a festival of music, dance art and culture.
At the centre of the British Museum exhibition will be two rickshaws which have been shipped over from Bangladesh. One of the rickshaws will be displayed as used on the streets of Bangladesh cities while the other has been decorated with a combination of British and Bangladesh artwork to celebrate a mix of cultures. The Ricksha Fusion project and other art projects will go on display in the British Museum from Tuesday 6 July until Thursday 15 July.
Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning gathering or a fair. It is used in the Indian Subcontinent for all sizes of gathering and can be religious, commercial, or cultural. Started in 1992, it is the first of its kind to be held in London involving local organisations, community groups, schools, colleges, and institutions such as the British Museum and the British Library. The Mela has been held each year in the heart of London and celebrates and shares the culture of Bangladesh and British-Bangladeshi music and dance.
The Mela is promoted as an opportunity for the wider communities to get together, regardless of their background, to enjoy a festive occasion through involvement in various educational and arts projects that promote appreciation and understanding of various cultures among London’s diverse population.