Well, what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon at Elder Park in Adelaide, than at the entertaining Indian Cultural and Food Festival known as MELA (a Sanskrit word meaning 'gathering' or 'to meet' or a ' fair')?
There was music, song, onstage entertainment, Bollywood dancing and all that you would expect at an Indian fair. There was food and drink in plentiful supply to suit all tastes from spicy curry through to donuts. And there were many stalls showcasing Indian Henna tattoos, clothing, travel, financial advice, astrology readings, fashion and lots more. You could even have a camel ride.
Taste, feel and enjoy India without leaving home' was how MELA was advertised and the promoters did not disappoint. Starting at 1pm and going through until 10pm, it seemed like there was something to enjoy, see or taste wherever one looked. And plenty of very friendly people to socialize with.
Unfortunately the weather gods were not along for the ride, with clouds, downpours and gusts of winds that dampened a few hairstyles but not the spirits. With everyone crowded under the centre tent and the performers on a covered stage, the entertainment continued regardless, allowing everyone to have a fun time.
Many persons of importance attended, including the Governor His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR, Mr Hieu Van Le AO the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia and Chairman of the SA Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, The Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood, and the Hon Grace Portolesi representing the Premier.
The event organisers, the Indian Australian Association of South Australia, are to be commended on a well-planned and entertaining event. Perhaps in future years though some consideration could be given to providing:
1. more undercover seating (for extreme hot or wet weather) 2. some sideshow entertainment for small children and toddlers
3. a tent or private area for parents with upset/feeding babies