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The Edinburgh Mela is set to take place once again this summer at Leith Links in a celebration of the Scottish capital's cultural diversity. Meaning 'to meet' in Sanskrit, Mela was founded in 1995 and is now one of the biggest events of its type in the UK. A mixture of music, dance, fashion and food, the festival aims to promote understanding and community coherence. It will kick off this year with a free performance by Manchester's Walk the Plank theatre company and Edinburgh's Dance Ihayami as they tell the story of Rama and Sita.
The Dance Feste will be a dedicated space to dance, this year's focus, and will feature performers interpreting Chinese dance, Bollywood fusion dance and belly dance. The festival's main stage will welcome, amongst others, Kakatsitsi, a drumming troupe from Jamestown, the cultural heartland of Ghana's Ga people, Soumik Datta, a brilliant young sarod player and Jassi Sidhu, one of the biggest names in UK bhangra.
In addition, there will be another stage showcasing more music such as R&B, Turkish sufi and an African male voice choir. There will of course be, as usual, a food stall as well as a dedicated kid's zone and the fashion show, hosted by Miss India Scotland Rameet Kaur.
This year's Mela will take place from 31st August to 2nd September. For more information, schedules and tickets, visit the Edinburgh Mela website.
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