Although the Boishakhi Mela was delayed this year from the second week of May to the last day of July the celebration is very much not over. The Boishakhi Mela, if you are not familiar with it is the celebration of the Bangladeshi New Year, and the Mela is a carnival of Bangladeshi culture where the streets all the way from Bethnal Green to Brick Lane are very much immersed in Green and Red (the colours of Bangladesh) and drowned in a plethora of Bangladeshi culture – from music to dance to traditional clothing. The extravagant nature of the Mela is what makes it appealing to so many people. Just to signify how big an event the Boishakhi Mela is, one of the headline acts – Ayuub Bacchu & LRB have performed in one of the most notorious, if not the most notorious venues in the world and that of course is Madison Square Gardens. Not only have they performed in Madison Square Gardens but they were also the first Bangla rock act to play there, certainly quite a coup then for the Mela, and the people of Bethnal Green.
Although that coup is hardly surprising considering the Mela is the second largest street festival in the UK, in fact it attracts about 80,000 people from all over the UK and is the largest open air festival.
-By Thufayel Ahmed