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Really Reenie! Live & Direct! Winner Takes All Asian Music Awards Adil Ray Battle of the Breakfast hosts


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MELA UK 2009!

Every summer thousands of people from different South Asian cultures come together to attend Melas throughout the UK. The Melas provide a unique opportunity to celebrate all aspects of Asian history and cultural heritage. Showcasing for everything from music – classical to bhangra the best of Bollywood, fashion, food and culture – Mela season has it all!


ith the sunny months now upon us, it means the beginning of a new season of festivals celebrating everything Asian. The Melas, staged across the country, provide a unique opportunity to celebrate all aspects of Asian history and cultural heritage. Melas area a major showcase for everything from music to the best of bhangra, dance, fashion, food and culture. Sugar Media’s Mela is the definitive guide to all the events nationwide throughout the summer. This year we showcase talent young and old including the UKs top achieving women, Radio 1 DJ Nihal and the stars of Desi music.

We also take the opportunity to uncover hidden histories, tracing the story of South Asians in Britain from 1600s to the present day. Focusing on working in and with the community, we look at the rewards of Teaching, protecting your community as part of the Uniformed Services and making a difference through Fostering and Adoption. So from Glasgow to Southampton, wherever you are celebrating your Mela this year – we hope you enjoy the Mela season! v For updates listings and events please see

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MELA 2009


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otographer: Sufian Ahmed MUA - Zens Bridal


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MELA 2009

Put your talent to the test with NHS Scotland Mela festivals are Britain’s most vibrant and exciting cultural events, bursting with bright, creative, passionate people giving their very best performances. People with just the same qualities in fact that NHS Scotland seeks in its future leaders. “It’s people with that same enthusiasm and energy, and a real dedication to their vocation, that marks out our successful graduates,” says Jill Sandford, who heads NHS Scotland’s highly selective trainee management programme. The scheme, which started in 2005, offers an average of just eight places a year to more than 200 hopeful applicants. As you would expect of a graduate programme that selects only the trainees with the potential to go right to the top, entry and selection is tough and strictly meritocratic. “A previous trainee described it as a golden ticket, and I wouldn’t disagree,” adds Jill. “But that doesn’t mean an easy ride. It’s hard work from day one, and our trainees learn on the job, working anywhere from inner-city Glasgow to the remote Outer Hebrides. At the same time they’re knuckling down to an MSc in health and public leadership.” And if you thought working for NHS Scotland means you have to be a qualified doctor or nurse, think again.

“Of course we have thousands of medics and clinical staff. But leading from the front is a management team responsible for finance, staff and services, and taking daily decisions about the future of healthcare in Scotland” says Shazia Ashraf, part of Scottish Government’s Health Workforce Employee Experience Team. “If you come from a culture that places a high value on achieving professional status, but you don’t want to follow an exclusive and specific vocational path, you can enjoy a broad career with us. For the most talented and ambitious that can lead to a senior management or chief executive position.” “The long-term prospects are excellent”, continues Shazia. “Compared with many other professions, especially in today’s economic climate, job security is high. But that doesn’t mean working life will be dull or routine. We are a big organisation with 150,000 employees and a budget of £8 billion a year. This means we’re rich with opportunity and variety. You can switch to new paths or disciplines, moving from long-term planning to emergency response, from pastoral community care to groundbreaking, high-tech science. Some managers choose to specialise in areas like procurement, finance or personnel. Our best graduate trainees will be the future leaders of NHS Scotland, working

closely with Government and dealing with the pressure of a high-profile job under the intense scrutiny of politicians, the media and the public.” In a recent staff opinion survey, 85 per cent of NHS Scotland staff said they were happy to go the extra mile at work when needed. “It’s a reflection of commitment and duty among our employees that runs throughout the organisation” said Shazia. “We want to keep and grow that motivation. Our graduate management trainees will be part of developing that responsive ‘can do’ culture.” Of all ethnic minority groups in Scotland, nearly half are of Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin. “We want an NHS team in Scotland that reflects the society it serves. Applications are welcome from potential candidates both within and outside Scotland,” says Jill. “Whatever your background or life experiences, our successful candidates all share one characteristic: a desire for that intrinsic satisfaction that comes from providing an essential public service. Every person and community in Scotland deserves the best possible healthcare, and part of assuring that quality is recruiting graduate management trainees with a heartfelt passion for the NHS, matched by minds that can take decisions with intelligence and integrity.’

And finally, for those unfamiliar with Scotland and its traditions, Jill has some words of assurance: “If you embrace Mela and the sense of gathering and togetherness it brings out in people, you’ll appreciate the Scottish culture with its distinctive dress, music and dance. I promise you, you won’t forget your first ceilidh! It’s a country deeply rooted in its heritage. At the same time it looks forward to the future, one that regards diversity and difference as part of a strong, modern Scotland.”

Whether you celebrate in Edinburgh, Glasgow or in another part of the UK, NHS Scotland wishes you a sensational Mela. Anyone with a 2.2 degree can apply online for a place on the NHS Scotland graduate management training scheme. Applications for next year open on 2nd November 2009, closing on 6th January 2010. For more information go to


– A NEW LIFE Roger Ballard charts the presence of South Asians in the UK from the 1600s to the present day. Photos courtesy of Bradford Heritage Unit.


he majority of South Asian migration to England has happened since 1950 but as early as 1688 there is evidence of a Bristol man offering a reward of 20 shillings for his runaway ‘Indian boy’. The 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act marked a serious shift in the immigration of Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis to England. Before 1960 such immigration had been small scale equalling less than a third of Caribbean migration and migrants generally had a significant knowledge of the English language or Britain, MELA 2009

or both. This group comprised of: seamen, ex-Indian army personnel, university graduates, teachers, doctors and other professionals. The entry of South Asians to England was controlled at source by the Indian and Pakistani governments. After 1960 immigration increased equalling that from the Caribbean and the profile of the typical immigrant changed. More often than not, South Asian immigrants were now from a rural background and generally unfamiliar with the language and culture of Britain. But one factor remained constant: the | 8 |

importance of the contact or sponsor in Britain. During the rush to beat the perceived impending ban in 1962 the houses of early settlers virtually became reception centres. The small numbers of South Asian people in Britain before the First World War were socially and geographically scattered. This group included students, lascars and nannies of East India company employees. Students lived in university towns, especially London, Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh. Bayswater in West London, which was popular with Indian students in the first half of the twentieth century, was known as “Asia minor”. Indian lascars deserted and settled near the London docks from the eighteenth century

CULTURE: New Life Left: Women gather for a meal. Below right: Early painting of Indian cricket player. Bottom right: With the expansion of public transport, many jobs on the busses were offered to Asian men.

onwards and many became a part of the multi-racial dock communities, cohabiting with and marrying local English women. Reasons for making the journey to England varied enormously, from political expulsion in the case of Ugandan Asians to career development or even marriage. However, broadly, South Asian migrants in the later half of the twentieth century were motivated by improved economic prospects, even if they anticipated a short stay. Despite attempts to control the number, and type, of South Asians entering Britain, by 1961 over 100,000 Indian and Pakistani nationals had taken up residence. South Asian immigrants settling in post-war Britain established themselves, mainly in London, the Midlands and industrial areas in the north, taking up employment in factories and foundries. Most people who came from India, Pakistan and later Bangladesh were aided by chain migration. The early pioneers who had found accommodation and employment in England then sponsored other men, usually from the same family group or village to join them. This pattern of chain migration led to large numbers of South Asians settling in particular areas. In the case of one Mirpuri family,

approximately 135 family members settled in Britain. Up to 90% of Pakistanis in Bradford and Birmingham come from the area of Mirpur. Similarly, in Greater London many East African Asians have settled in areas such as Wembley and Harrow while Southall in Ealing is home to a large Punjabi Sikh community. (For more information on the Sikh community the Sikh Cyber Museum may be of interest.) In 1991 Bangladeshis made up 22.9% of the population of Tower Hamlets and 95% of Bangladeshis come from the rural district of Sylhet. Read more about where Asians have settled in England. Original settlement patterns in Greater London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire have shown limited change over the past half a century. Although there is some evidence of a move to the suburbs by some groups, particularly Indians. Early post-war South Asian migrants faced prejudice in finding private rented accommodation and council housing. As early as 1957, a Home Office document provided evidence of white flight and future segregation, which would come to characterise some northern towns and cities: “The Nottingham, Wolverhampton and Warwickshire police say | 9 |

MELA 2009

After 1960 immigration increased equalling that from the caribbean and the profile of the typical immigrant changed.”

Many immigrants found employment in the textile industry.

that white house-holders in better class districts resent coloured people buying houses in these districts and when this happens, those who can, move.” This was supported by a 1964 article in the Daily Telegraph in which an Estate Agent in Southall, London had agreed to sell houses owned by Southall Residents Association exclusively to white buyers. In the north of England, Pakistanis sought to overcome these housing problems by buying old houses often in slum areas and letting them out to newcomers. “Dad was amazed and heartened by the sight of the British in England, though. He’d never seen the English in poverty, as road sweepers, dustmen, shopkeepers and barmen. He’d never seen an Englishman stuffing bread into his mouth with his fingers...” Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif MELA 2009

Kureishi (Faber and Faber, 1990). For South Asians arriving from the 1950s onwards, a period of adjustment was necessary. For women coming from large extended families, life in Britain could, initially, seem isolated and lonely. Mrs. S. Ahmad: “Sometimes, I used to cry, I missed my family in the beginning but later, I overcame all these problems.” For those who did not have access to a bathroom in their houses, the experience of visiting the public baths was strange at first. Israel Massey: “The public baths used to be near East Ham Town Hall. You had to clean the bath and pay half a crown ... You can get a towel, shampoo and soap there, and you would just go there and have a bath. I didn’t know this was part of the culture because we had our own baths (in India).” Few of the young, male | 10 |

South Asian migrants arriving in the 1950s envisaged permanent settlement. A 1957 police report titled, Working Party to on the social and economic problems arising from the growing influx into the United Kingdom of Coloured workers from Commonwealth countries recorded that Indians and Pakistanis had come to Britain with the object of making sufficient money to enable them to return home after a stay of five to ten years. Most decided to settle, however, as increased immigration restriction and family reunification made re-migration a less realistic option. v Re-printed with kind permission of Roger Ballard. For more information see and

We value all manner of things: power stations; farms; lighthouses; leisure centres; airport runways; stately homes; your ambitions; your hobbies; everything that makes you, you. Hands up who’s heard of the Valuation Office Agency. We thought as much. It’s a shame really because, from a career point of view, we have a lot to offer. Stability. Progression. Flexible working. Great benefits. Whatever your priorities are, there’s a good chance we value them too. Just ask the thousands of brilliant minds already working for us – everyone from chartered surveyors, property inspectors and administrators, to experts in IT, Finance, and HR. Discover your true worth. Visit The VOA recognises and values the qualities that different people bring to the organisation and encourages applications from all backgrounds.

Carnivals, Melas & the Ombudsman Mukhtar Singh-Rai joined the Financial Ombudsman Service – the free service that settles complaints between consumers and financial firms – when it was set up by law back in 2001. Mukhtar is one of a small team of technical experts who goes out into the community to explain the ombudsman’s role in resolving a widerange of complaints – from pet insurance and pensions to mortgages and motor insurance. As part of his role, Mukhtar takes part in melas and carnivals around the UK. Network News tracked him down to find out more … “People are sometimes surprised to see me and my ombudsman colleagues at melas and consumer shows,” he says. “But it’s a great opportunity to let people know about the ombudsman service and what we can do to help. You’d be amazed at the number of people who come up to me with a problem that

they want to sort out with a bank, insurance company or finance firm – but they’re unsure how to go about it. In most cases, they just need to be pointed in the right direction and the firm can resolve matters for them, without the ombudsman’s formal involvement. But if they aren’t able to sort matters out themselves, people are reassured to know that the ombudsman service is there – as an independent expert with real powers, who they can turn to. If you are going to be at the Glasgow, Oldham or Newcastle-upon-Tyne mela over the summer - come and meet us and find out more about the ombudsman!” Some complaints recently investigated by the ombudsman

Stolen watches In a case the ombudsman recently investigated Jay Khan from Manchester, returned home from work one

day to discover a number of items had been stolen from his home – including an antique watch that had been an important family item that had been handed down to him by his great-uncle. He contacted his insurance company to make a claim. While the insurer said it was prepared to meet the claim, it insisted that Mr Khan replaced the item from a specific retailer. Mr Khan visited the shop, but they did not stock any similar watches. So he asked if, in the circumstances, the insurance company would be prepared to give him a cash settlement instead – to give him the opportunity to find pieces that were more similar in style to those that had been stolen.

Mobile phone insurance Preeti Williams a secondyear student accidentally left her mobile phone in a library. When she returned to collect it, it was missing. The phone was insured, but her

Find out more about the ombudsman at

insurer rejected the claim, saying the phone had been left unattended and that the claim would not be paid. The ombudsman agreed there was an exclusion in the policy for items left ‘unattended’. But because this severely restricted the cover, we said this should have been brought to the customer’s attention when she took out the policy. As the insurer could not prove they had done this – or that the consumer had acted carelessly – the ombudsman told the insurer to pay the claim.

Security issues Mandeep Singh also asked for the ombudsman’s help. Last May he took his family on a weekend trip in his newly-acquired caravan.

On their return he left the caravan in the street near his house. He knew he needed to get a wheel clamp for the caravan - but he had not yet got round to buying one. Unfortunately, the following morning he discovered the caravan had been stolen. Mr Singh’s insurance company turned down his claim. It said he had “failed to take reasonable care” and had not “safeguarded” his vehicle. Very unhappy with this outcome, Mr Singh took his case to the ombudsman service. The ombudsman accepted that Mr Singh had only left his caravan unsecured for a relatively short time - and that he had been planning to buy the wheel clamp within a day or so. However, Mr Singh had known that his insurance policy

or phone 0845 080 1800.

included the requirement that he should use a wheel clamp whenever he left the caravan unattended. In the circumstances, the ombudsman was not able to uphold his complaint.

‘top tips’ on how to get your complaint taken seriously 1. W  hat’s the problem? Get what you are unhappy about clear in your own mind. 2. Try to stay calm! Even if you are upset, try to stay calm – this will help you to get across your points clearly. 3. Write or phone? Decide whether you want to write or phone and have any relevant policy or account numbers to hand. Make a note of the date, time and full name of anyone you speak to. 4. Keep it brief! Tell the firm what you are unhappy about and how you would like them to put things right. 5. Taking it higher! If you aren’t making progress, say you want to register it as a formal complaint.

One of the great differences between what we do and Radio 1 is that it’s cool for me to speak about my Mum,”

MELA 2009

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MORNINGS Radio DJ. Documentary presenter. Now even television comedian (with his own show in the works!). Adil Ray has made quite a career for himself and as the host of BBC Asian Network’s flagship show, battles the best of the Breakfast hosts. He talks to Jonathan Williams about comedy, festivals and stumbling into his career.


arly in the morning, when you wake up and roll out of bed, who do you listen to? Chris Moyles? Too crude, too mean, you say. Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon? Maybe a bit too bland. You want someone who’s fun, but not mean spirited, who knows about music without choosing niche bands to demonstrate just how ahead of the times he is, and maybe even someone who talks about his family, because at 25 you’re closer you’re now closer with your Mum and Dad than you ever were. In that case, Adil Ray might be a better match for you. Weekdays, Ray hosts BBC Asian Network’s flagship show, going up against the big breakfast broadcasts on Radio 1, 2 and

4. But even though The Adil Ray Show can’t quite hold it’s own against Moyles millions, it doesn’t mean he’s jealous of them. “One of the great differences between what we do and Radio 1 is that it’s cool for me to speak about my Mum,” the DJ says, adding that he can talk about going over for Sunday evening dinner, whereas on Radio 1, a presenter would probably be mocked, the way Comedy Dave gets mocked, for admitting he still visits his family on a regular basis. Family was a topic on today’s show as well, with one of the regular characters, Shabnam Di Maa, the world’s busiest mother, holding a press conference to address the MPs expenses scandal. “Whenever somebody’s | 15 |

in the news, she claims to be their mother and this time it sounds like she claims to be one of the Asian MPs mothers and defending lots of expenses.” This is but one of the examples of characters that lovingly poke fun at the station’s core audience and the community. And lovingly it is meant to be, as the presenter does not aim to offend. “You can almost tell any joke in the world, as long as the attitude of the joke and the attitude of the teller is right.” Even with this in mind, it is not to say that Ray sees Asian Network’s job only as targeting British Asians. He believes that it should be listened to by people who enjoy music, regardless of background. “Over the years, we’ve kind of shown at the Asian MELA 2009

What I can say at this stage is that some of the radio comedy characters that I’ve been doing for two to three years are going to make it onto prime time television, which is just fantastic.”

MELA 2009

Network a huge Asianness about us, but we’re also very, very mainstream,” the DJ argues. “So I would love to interview David Beckham, you know Lily Allen, anybody like that.” When not hosting the breakfast show between seven and ten on weekdays, Ray also manages to fit in some television work, although how he stays awake is a mystery with his 4:30 am daily start. Since his time on BBC Two’s Desi DNA, the Huddersfield graduate has moved on to working on the West Midlands version of Inside Out, visited with travelled abroad with Explore (“Turkey was great”) and most recently started work on a comedy programme. Ray is keeping mostly staying mum about the show, but does let one thing slip. “What I can say at this stage is that some of the radio comedy characters that I’ve been doing for two to three years are going to make it onto prime time television, which is just fantastic.” But Adil Ray’s life could have easily taken a different turn, he never planned to be the breakfast radio powerhouse he is today. In fact, he stumbled into it by accident. At University, Ray wanted to hear different music played in the union, so he suggested a night devoted to the kind he wanted to hear. He got the go ahead, but only of he DJ’d. One thing led to another and soon Ray had his own slot on the local radio station. “I took a chance, went for it and absolutely | 16 |

loved it,” he remembers, “What I did do, as soon as the opportunity came, I took it.” His gig on the pirate radio station soon led to other opportunities and via Choice FM and Yorkshire-based Galaxy 105 in the late 90s, he worked his way to BBC Asian Network and has been there for the last seven years. Over time, more success led to other opportunities outside of radio and soon Ray was performing at festivals. “The first one I ever hosted was a thing called Unity Festival, that’s actually in Yorkshire. It had Bangla bands, Raggae bands, Urban acts, Rock bands all on stage.” Since then, he has gone on to host many a Mela and recently was at the Baishakhi Mela in London. “I believe that opportunities pass us every day. How do I turn around to these guys and say ‘I’m not sure’ or ‘I’ll come back and see you in a few weeks’. It might not have happened,” he remembers of his first big break. “If I look at where it’s taken me. Suddenly it’s all come into place,” Ray enthuses. With a television comedy on the horizon and his listeners not going away, Adil Ray should settle in for his decade at the BBC. v The Adil Ray Show is on BBC Asian Network weekdays between 7 – 10am. Listen to the BBC Asian Network on, Digital Radio, SKY 011.


I believe that opportunities pass us every day. How do I turn around to these guys and say ‘I’m not sure’ or ‘I’ll come back and see you in a few weeks’. It might not have happened,” | 17 |

MELA 2009


UNITE! Melas are colourful and welcoming family-friendly celebrations of south Asian culture. Dozens take place in the UK alone, annually drawing crowds in excess of one million people, from a wide variety of community and cultural backgrounds. They currently run throughout the summer continuing into November. Top left: Asian inspired Fashion. Opposite page: Notorious Jatt. C James & O Jenkins.

MELA 2009


elas have established their place within the UK cultural landscape for 20 years. In fact, wherever south Asians have settled around the world, melas have become increasingly prominent within the cultural calendar. One of the biggest in Europe is held in Norway and there are several large events that take place in USA, Canada and Australia. The word Mela derives from the Sanskrit word for ‘gathering’. In the Asian sub-continent, melas are traditionally held as community events, which can involve arts, dance, music, fashion, food and film. In the West, melas have evolved to become celebratory arts and cultural events, incorporating performance and art elements, with professional performers of international status as well as strong community involvement, commercial, sporting and culinary aspects. Melas provide an invaluable opportunity for people of south Asian origin to learn more about their own rich heritage of arts and culture, while encouraging interaction with other ethnic minority

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CULTURE: Melas Unite!

groups and the mainstream population. Melas also provide a boost for local businesses particularly hotels, restaurants and retail. European Mela Network (EMN) is an initiative, organised by melas set up to unite and support melas across Europe. The website www.melanet. eu/ includes news, up to date information, links to European melas and a members’ forum. “The European Mela Network is a wonderful opportunity for England’s melas to network nationally and internationally, sharing expertise and growing the sector. Melas celebrate the rich diversity of our culture and have the ability to unite communities in a common artistic experience,” Says Charles Rowley, Arts Council. EMN Chair and spokesperson is actor and award winning director Ajay Chhabra. He is cofounder and artistic director of London Mela. v See for details

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MELA 2009


INCREDIBLE INDIA In a country as diverse and complex as India, with a five thousand year recorded history, it is not surprising to find that people here reflect the rich glories of the past, the culture, traditions and values relative to geographic locations and the numerous distinctive manners, habits and food that will always remain truly Indian.


rom the eternal snows of the Himalayas to the cultivated peninsula of the far South, from the deserts of the West to the humid deltas of the East, from the dry heat and cold of the Central Plateau to the cool forest foothills, Indian lifestyles clearly glorify the geography. The food, clothing and habits of an Indian community differ in accordance to the place of origin. Indians believe in sharing happiness and sorrow. A festival or a celebration is never constrained to a family or a home. The whole community or neighbourhood is involved in bringing liveliness to an occasion. A lot of festivals like Diwali, Holi, Eid, Christmas, Mahaveer Jayanthi are all celebrated by sharing sweets and pleasantries with family, neighbours and friends. An Indian wedding is an MELA 2009

occasion that calls for participation of the family and friends and an event that often lasts several days. Similarly, neighbours and friends always help out a family in times of need. Ethnically Indians speak, well over 400 different languages, follow different religions, eat the most diverse varieties of food all of which add to the rich Indian culture. The beauty of the Indian people lies in the spirit of tolerance, give-and-take and a composition of cultures that can be compared to a garden of flowers of various colours and shades of which, while maintaining their own entity, lend harmony and beauty to the garden - India! v For full information on tourism in India see

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I guess I never saw singing as my career, more a hobby, yet after 14 years here I am still going strong. I still have that hunger to succeed and create good music.”

MELA 2009


…Artist: Backstreet Boys. …Food: Pizza. …Drink: Diet coke. …DJ: No one specific. I love seeing a band more! …Book: Somebody Someday – Robbie Williams. …Era of music: Eighties. …Genre of music: Pop. | 22 |

INTERVIEW: Jassi Sidhu

Since starting off as part of B21 in 1996, Jassi Sidhu has gone from strength to strength. Now an established solo artist, he’s planning another year on the Mela circuit while putting the finishing touches on his newest album.


o you enjoy the buzz of performing at Melas, with the live crowd? I love Mela season. Last year, I was lucky enough to perform at most of the main ones. It’s great playing to large, mixed audiences. I love the fact that there are so many different age groups at Melas and you get to perform to whole families and also so many people form nonAsian backgrounds. Though in the great British summers (when we get them) they are just the perfect place to perform. Since you started touring, what was your most memorable concert? There are so many, it’s only when you look back that you realise how amazing some of the shows are. Playing in Kenya in Africa is always amazing, as is Toronto. The crowd is just so up for it in these cities. Yet if I’m honest, I just love playing in the UK, especially Melas, as I love the interaction you can have with the crowd. Nottingham Mela was such a great vibe last year. It was a fab day. Do you think people still see

you as “that guy from B21”, or are you firmly established now as your own man? I think now, finally, after seven years I’m an artist in my own right. It’s so hard for singers to break away from Boy bands and be successful, you can count them on one hand, such as Robbie Williams and Justin Timberlake, yet the failures are endless and usually lead to a reunion down the line. I’m very proud of establishing myself worldwide and I think I’ve been blessed to have two separate, successful careers. In an earlier interview, you mentioned that you were considering retiring in a few years. Is that still the plan or can we look forward to the even newer adventures of Jassi Sidhu? I guess I never saw singing as my career, more a hobby, yet after 14 years here I am still going strong. I still have that hunger to succeed and create good music, so I think I do have a few more years in me. However, I’ve always stated that I never wanted to be that middle-aged guy on stage hanging about longer than he was wanted. I’m 31 now the new album Singing Between the Lines will | 23 |

hopefully be ready for next year. Then at 32 I’ll look at what I want to do in the future. Who’s still left on your list of people to collaborate with? There was never a list, I’m just lucky enough to have worked with the artists I looked up to as a child, such as Malkit Singh and Shin from DCS. I’d love to do something mainstream, completely away from Bhangra music. As I’ve stated so many times, I’m a huge boy band fan, so a collaboration with Take That or Backstreet Boys would be something special! What does the future hold for you? Well, I just released the first ever live Bhangra DVD/Album Jassi What Happened. It was my way of showing the new generation of Bhangra lovers in the UK what live music actually sounds like. My next album Singing Between the Lines won’t be until next year, as I believe in waiting between releases. Before that I’ll be appearing on the new Rishi Rich album but in a very unexpected way! v Jassi’s official website is MELA 2009



Described as an east/west soundclash, Trickbaby are an exciting, culturally mixed band, with their long awaited second album out now. Chor Bazaar is a smorgasbord of styles and sounds and will have many critics sitting to attention. Lead singer Saira Hussein took time out to talk to Jamie Skey.


t started with a big bang ‘Eureka – By Jove I think we have something’ moment”, Hussein explains the bands genesis. And there was Trickbaby; born of friendship, a musical passion, tea and many triangle samosas! “I used to sit with my mate Steve as he was agonizing over his recently acquired studio equipment and moaning about the dodgy dolly bird girls that he was trying to make singers of. “One day I piped up in my usual fashion, ‘I could do that’, and so was told to ‘put my money where my mouth was.’ “I duly did, and that was the beginning of the journey. MELA 2009

“Along the ride we picked up a hotch-potch of like minded people, incredible instrumenteers with a brave new world outlook on making music.” Their bold approach to music has landed them two major album releases, appearances on two films, and an epic touring schedule which has expanded across continents. “You could say we’ve been around the world and back spreading the Trickbaby gospel!” Their long-awaited second album Chor Bazaar was released in March and sees a return to form. Their inspiration came from a particular trip to India. “Firstly my phone was stolen and I was I able to find it and | 24 |

INTERVIEW: Trickbaby

We don’t fit easily into any scene – we’re the odd bods at the Mela’s, the ethnic ones on the UK live circuit, the ones looking more confusion than fusion at the Asian gigs.

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MELA 2009

buy it back at the thieves market in Bombay by the afternoon. “I found that brilliantly audacious and convenient at the same time and something that could only happen in India. “Chor Bazaar (thieves market) – with it’s hotch-potch assortment of trinkets from all over the world rejected, useless to some but waiting to have new life breathed into by others for me is a bit of a romantic place and behind every old radio and spanner and typewriter lies a story, a history, a heart. “India with its sights, smells, sounds, and a mindset that is uniquely Indian got my lyrical juices cascading out of me like a big detox and out came a party of songs to make you laugh, cry, think, smile sing-along and dance to.” Listening to Chor Bazaar is like trying a new food; you taste with cautious anticipation, roll the flavours on your tongue and revel in the new experience. The sound is influenced by a palette that stretches the musical spectrum. “Between us we’re influenced by everything from Abba to Zappa. “I love the female singer songwriters, classic Motown, Blondie, Bob Marley to Quwaali, Ghazals and Bolly, “Steve’s an old punk – Clash, Nirvana – the rest add to the cocktail with a dash of rap, hip hop, dance, bhangra and in a way that explains our eclectic sound.” The album took a long time MELA 2009

to produce due to successive trips to India which slowed the process down. The creative process, however, was standard fare. “Each of us have strong opinions and ideas and we’re never shy about voicing them – so we scream ‘til we’re heard – or sulk ‘til we’re taken notice of. “All ideas go into a pot and Steve stirs ‘til he’s got the soup he wants.” One thing is for sure, Trickbaby aren’t another package from the production line. Saira tells us how they have never buckled under commercial pressures. “We don’t follow trends, we don’t latch onto the latest big thing and go ‘Oh let’s do that.’ “The way we make music is extremely organic and unique to us – born of our real, true creative fire and that’s what will set us apart always. “We don’t fit easily into any scene – we’re the odd bods at the Mela’s, the ethnic ones on the UK live circuit, the ones looking more confusion than fusion at the Asian gigs – but we’re confident in what we do – we’re selective about what we do and | 26 |

we completely control our own creative output.” She adds that the music is ultimately a celebration of heritages and cultures. “We are a bit United Nations, there’s pure Brit, some Pakistani, some Indian, some Turkish – even a bit of Canadian Hare Krishna on occasion. “We make music that celebrates our Asian heritage and our Western experience but we make it with certain irreverence – we don’t work out how many brown noises we make against how many white noises and we don’t count the ratio of brown faces to white at our gigs. “We make music for the whole planet - it’s not colour coded in any way.” The Trickbaby vehicle appears to be devouring everything in its way. Their agenda is jam packed with new projects and bubbling melting pots. “More movies, more gigs (particularly in places that haven’t had the “Trickbaby initiation”, more mayhem and more creating some fresh musical Marsalis. “When we’re done creating then we’ll start all over again.” v

Your Leadership Team Headteacher Assistant Headteacher Deputy Headteacher

Principal Vice Principal School Business Manager Bursar

Education Leader… Join by the 30 June 2009 and receive a FREE copy of our publication Writing a Policy worth £15.


Page 1



How to make your policies: • Clear • Concise • Consistent


NAHT is an independent trade union and professional association representing over 28,500 members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In addition to effective union support and professional advice, NAHT: • negotiates on pay, conditions and pensions in the interests of all education leaders; • focuses on leadership issues across the education spectrum;

Ideas for school leadership team s

JOIN NOW Online: Phone:

Benefits of membership 01444 472414 to speak to the Membership Recruitment Team

• delivers effective CPD training programmes, geared specifically towards the senior leadership team; • campaigns for the ending of the current system of testing and assessment at key stage 1 and 2 plus the end to the publication of annual league tables





Seeing our first music video on TV was an amazing feeling. As you are recording in the studio, performing etc, you dream of one day seeing yourself on TV amongst the other artists that you admire.� MELA 2009

| 28 |


One quarter of new girl band Fe-Nix, twenty four year old Tanya is bracing herself for the bigtime. With their new single out at the end of May and several advertising campaigns in the waiting, the half Indian, half Irish singer is hoping for the best of possible receptions, as she tells Jonathan Williams.


re you ready for your career to take off once Lady Baby is out? Not really [laughs]. Seriously, yes and no. I am a little nervous as I, like my other band mates, am not sure what to expect. We have great expectations, as we apply a lot of pressure on ourselves, so we are just hoping everything goes smoothly. We have worked really hard to put together an album which we love, and hope everyone else will so it’s really exciting that the time is coming for our material to be heard by the masses. We have quite a grueling schedule ahead, with touring and various modeling contracts we are involved in (Apple Bottoms and Lipsy clothing) so I think we will be too busy to reflect on the take off! What’s been the high point of being in Fe-Nix so far? For me, seeing our first music video on TV was an amazing feeling. As you are recording in the studio, performing etc, you dream of one day seeing yourself on TV amongst the other artists that you admire, so it was truly a high. I think I called just about everyone I know to tune in, it was really exciting.

If you could sing with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose? Definitely Michael Jackson. He is a legend, regardless of the negative press. Musically speaking, he is timeless and paved the way for a generation of artists that is truly inspiring. Growing up, did you always want to be a singer? Yes I did, and I was unfortunately one of those children that would use just about anything as a fake microphone, even (much to my embarrassment) an egg cup, which my mother never lets me forget, as yes I used it as a mike with an open egg in the cup! Music has always been my passion as growing up it was a massive part of my childhood. I was about six when I first started dancing and doing child talent shows. I loved the stage and being able to entertain. Have your family always supported you or did they want you to chose a “proper” career, along the lines of Doctor or Banker? As I am mixed race, my mother is Irish and father is Indian, I grew up with the best of both worlds. So my mum was always very supportive of my singing | 29 |

ambitions. But my dad on the other hand wasn’t so amiable when it came to my chosen path. Stereotypically he was of the mind set that singing and music were a waste of time, and I should focus having a “profession”, which includes Medicine, Law or accountancy! It took the record deal to really start changing his mind about it, as it appears to be something more concrete! But I love the fact that he cares, and I think everyone brought up in that culture can relate. I guess I was lucky to have a balance of strict and sensitive. I do believe that it is important to have a good education and not to frown at the opinions of my parents as they are “usually” right – but its also important to follow your dreams otherwise you might live to regret it! v Fe-Nix new single Lady Baby is out 26 May.


…Artist: Jay Sean! …Food: Anything hot and spicy! …Drink: Sangria! …DJ: Trevor Nelson! …Book: The Da Vinci Code. …Era of music: 80’s! …Genre of music: R’n’B. MELA 2009

Photographer: Sufian Ahmed MUA - Zens Bridal

parisa, Fashion Treats

With Sabah Riaz

MELA 2009

| 30 |





‘Glamour’ and ‘Urban’ styles contribute to the makeup of cosmopolitan London, yet it seems we struggle to find a label that boasts both characteristics. Parisa is the new label to quench our thirst for fashion, providing us with high fashion that ‘Urban Couture’ ensembles. Parisa, still surfacing to the fashion world, has already provided outfits for shoots in various fashion magazines and hair dressers such as ‘I.D Hair Salon’… | 31 |

MELA 2009

MELA 2009

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Photo- Rashmi Gill MUA - Zukreat Dua Majeed

ŠTom Wren Photography Make up artist : Emily Jane Williams Hairstylist: Bashir Sabar

Photography: Dushans Photography Makeup artist: Sarah Janjua Hair Stylist: Bashir Sabar

Photo: Sufian Ahmed Mua - Maz from Zens bridal






When asking the Parisa Girls what makes ‘you’ different to the new fashion around us, they replied, “We want to created a fresh look, which fuses the urban and couture part of the fashion world, we think that they complement each other.” Indeed, I completely agree with them!

Nasima Ahmed and Rusana Rahman also work as freelance stylists, so have fashion oozing out of them, allowing them to create some of the most distinctive designs available right here, right now. You need a dress for your prom, take my word for it, Parisa it all the way!

It is something that’s just not ready made and available in the shops. Any high street shop can make something new, but as soon as you walk into that party or club you can spot someone wearing the same thing, just in a different style, or colour… how frustrating?!

You don’t have to know exactly what you want, the girls will help you find something perfect for you, and they’re so down to earth making you feel comfortable, unlike other designers that look down on you if you aren’t size 0!

Parisa offers tailor made outfits for you creating a fantastic unique look, which you can work to make more ‘glamour- ous’ or steer towards a more ‘street’ look, whatever you feel like. The Parisa girls,

Hope this has taken the edge off your hunger for ‘fashion treats’. As usual you can always contact me for fashion advice or pass on any suggestions that you want me to research and write about.


Getting intimate with Par Who would you say are influences in regards to fashion labels/designers, and got you interested in the fashion biz? Rusana: Vivian Westwood, She’s wacky, she’s different. Alexander McQueen, for the same reason. I guess it depends on my mood, it’s not anything specific. Nasima: For me it’s kind of the people that you don’t see. A lot of people from other countries, unusual fashion, it’s what you see on international sites etc. It’s not just so much one person.

“Our target market is the fashion conscious who want to wear something that is fun and edgy, but like it glammed up or with a street look, it’s totally up to them”

How are your designs/creations sustainable? Nasima: Well Ethical fashion is of course really important... Rusana: ...As we’ve just started out, We’ve been in talks with The Ethical Fashion forum. Ethcial fashion isn’t just about making stuff out of recycled goods or plantations being organic, ethical fashion is also something that has a good story behind it. We’re looking into that, as we’ve not yet gone into the mass production, it’s something we’re very aware of. What are plans for the near future? Rusana: Definitely increase our exposure, something we’re working on very hard! For us it’s important to gain that exposure in order to get out there, so people know who we are. Nasima: We’ve also got our summer collection, so look out for that! For all the lastest info and to keep up-to date with whats hot in the world of Parisa Check out

| 33 |

MELA 2009



















UK Asian Music Awards

Thursday 5th March 2009 at Southbank’s Royal Festival Halls, waiting for what’s probably the most important annual event for Brit Asian music maestros and fans. The UK Asian Music Awards! And with promise of a bigger, better and ‘badder’ show than last year, one can only imagine what’s being held in store. Many of the artists and guests present at the UKAMA’s are also going to be at many of this years melas! So to get a vibe of what happened back in March, Read On.... Radhika Popat


hat was The UKAMA 2009, the awards which aim to promote new and established British Asian and international talent from singers and club DJs to radio presenters. Swarmed with some of the biggest names in the Asian music and media industries the night was definitely one to remember. Presented by B4U VJ Salil Acharya and actress/ model Karen David the stage played host to some of the hottest Asian music talent and high profile guest presenters. Appearances were made by Maysoon from Big Brother, Himesh Patel (Tamwar from EastEnders) and Bombay Dreams star Priya Kalidas to name a few. Audiences were also treated to performances filled with panache and energy by Mona Singh, Jagged Edge, Nisha Kataria and Shahin Badar, the latter of who performed to the ever so catchy track ‘Ringa Ringa’ from Slumdog Millionaire. The awards themselves spelled victory for Jay Sean as he walked away with three trophies, winning Best Album, Best Male Act and Best Urban


Act. Jay expressed his gratitude for winning Best Album as ‘My Own Way’ was produced under his own label ‘Jayded’ and was what got him the Cash Money contract. M.I.A won best Female Act but unfortunately was unable to make it to the ceremony, as she has just become a mum! Rishi Rich also had a good run as he won Most Committed to the Music Scene and Best Producer. He also showcased all his acts like H Dhami (who won best act), Veronica and the latest edition to the clan Tashah Tah. With Slumdog Millionaire fever at a high at the time, it was no surprise that music legend A.R.Rahman scooped the Outstanding Achievement award. The award was much deserved as he has undoubtedly taken Asian music to a new platform both within Bollywood and internationally. All in all it was a fun filled night with good music and performances. As hosts, B4U Music will be televising the UKAMA 2009 (exclusively of course) very soon so don’t forget to tune in. Read on for the full list of winners.

| 36 |

Well Hello...





Yea...Just doing my thing! BEST ALBUM: Jay Sean My Own Way

Well what can I say? Or Sing rather...



Mine, Mine, MINE!

BEST URBAN ACT: Jay Sean BEST ALTERNATIVE ACT: Nitin Sawhney BEST RADIO SHOW: Bobby Friction BBC Asian Network BEST VIDEO: Jazzy B - Rambo Commitment to the scene: Rishi Rich Outstanding Achievement Award: A.R. Rahman

Who da man?!

Errr..Where am I?!| 37 |

MELA 2009


It’s all about...


Jazz Gill

In 2006 Virgin records parted ways with Jay Sean stating “His Hip-Hop style is not the direction we want”.. Thankfully he did not go in Virgin’s direction as his Hip-Hop style has got him signed to the biggest Hip-Hop label in the world right now. So you don’t need a journalism degree (which I have) to know what question everyone wants to ask him. “The The producer I worked with on ‘My Own Way’ is friends with the Cash Money owners. They asked him what he’s working on now so he sent them my stuff. They saw on YouTube & how many hits I’ve had and they couldn’t believe that I hadn’t hit America yet, and my producer was like ‘this is your chance’. They then flew me down to Miami I met everyone we had a good vibe going on and the rest is history…”” Future would be a better description than history. The future for Jay Sean is brighter than ever. ““Jayded Records is also under Cash Money so the aim is to get our value up and go on to bigger and better things.” Yet he refuses to be drawn into the glitz and glamour the American music industry specialises in. “The The music industry has changed; you have to be smart now. Cash Money could decide that we are going to have Timbaland or Pharrell produce my whole album but that’s gonna cost a couple of million. With so many people illegally downloading tunes how will we make that back? I’m not gonna let America go to my head, I’m just going to keep doing what I do.” Unknown to many Jay has already had a hit in America with a song he wrote that High School Musical star Corbin Bleu got hold off. “It was weird seeing someone else perform my material but I am not at all jealous of the success it had. It did better than it would have if I did it and 120,000 airplays in America means a good pension for me.” His fans are waiting for a collaboration between him and Lil Wayne. The Southern gangsta rapper who has been arrested for gun possession and the former medical student Asian RnB singer may seem like an odd couple but Cash Money’s biggest names get on fine. He’s a cool guy. He has that swagger about him, that “He’s star quality. I haven’t been able to do anything with him because he is still working on his own stuff but I’m sure we will soon. First I’ll be doing something for Skepta’s next album. For new year’s I may be doing a show in Dubai with Shakira. I will begin work on my new album probably in January.”” Becoming an international superstar like his Cash Money compatriot is the aim but Jay will never forget his roots. “II don’t want people to say ‘Jay had a chance to rep us and he messed it up’. I want to do something really big and make everyone proud.” We already are.

MELA 2009

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Words by: Nosheen Aslam

Are you bored of your usual R&B and Bhangra? Want to explore the realms of the music world? If so, then the name your after is Shammi Pithia.


A 24 year old on a journey to evoke musical karma and one that isn’t afraid to break musical moulds. Born in East London his musical philosophy is all about spirituality, “I believe music can move and touch individuals and hold a special place in the heart. The transference of emotion through music is a great gift to humanity and this has formed a base and centre for my music composition and philosophy.” Shammi’s musical interest came underway at the age of 16, when in college & inspired him to work towards completing a BA Hons in Music Technology & Innovation and a Masters of Arts degree in Classical Indian Music, giving the aspiring instrumentalist a well read opening to music. Currently writing and producing various styles of music for many diverse musicians Shammi’s focal interest lies in creating music inspired by Indian classical music. “I love this genre of music because I find a lot of depth in it. I started to listen to this type of music in college, when I first heard songs by Nitin Sawhney and Talvin Singh. From then on I was

always inspired and fascinated by this type of music – I really loved the way that different forms of music were married without destroying the original integrity of the genres and cultures they originated from.” As well as composing and producing the young musician is a keen flutist who also teaches music on a myriad of levels. “I love classical Indian music, it’s a very complex and rich form of music. I suppose this love has a big influence on my work.” His recent debut EP ‘Cinema of the Ears’ offers a taster of Shammi’s musical exploration which will be further developed in his future forthcoming album. Shammi also plans to also compose for theatre, dance and the big screen. To keep informed log on to:

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MELA 2009

CAREERS: Teach UK Starting salary

Once you have completed your initial teacher training and achieved qualified teacher status (QTS), from September 2008 you can expect to start as a newly qualified teacher in England and Wales on £20,627 a year (or £25,000 if you work in inner London).

Main pay scale including NQTs


• London fringe: £21,619 to £31,138 • Outer London: £24,000 to £33,544 • Inner London: £25,000 to £34,768 • Rest of England and Wales: £20,627 to £30,148



Leadership and headship pay scales

TEACHING Teaching has many rewards, not only the joy of seeing a pupils’ face light up when they understand a complicated subject. It also offers competitive wages, as well as the chance to access to key worker housing. Pay and benefits

You may be surprised by how rewarding a teaching career can be. With starting salaries matching what you’d receive in many other professions, your experience and performance can see you achieve rapid progression, and enjoy the financial rewards to match. All qualified teachers are paid according to pay scales, updated each September by the Government. You will start on the 'main' pay scale and each year, subject to performance, you will move up a step until you reach the maximum level or move on to a scale associated with a different position or level of experience. MELA 2009

For the first few years of your career, you might find yourself progressing to a leadership pay scale, or even a headship pay scale. These pay scales apply include: • advanced skills teacher pay scale • excellent teacher pay scheme • leadership group pay scale, and • headteacher pay scale. Where you fit into these scales will depend on your position, experience and location, as well as on your individual school. Compare pay scales.

Teaching benefits

In addition to your basic salary, you will also receive a range of benefits, including: • teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments – additional money if you take on additional responsibilities • teachers' pension – the second largest public sector pension scheme in the country, and • holidays – more days than many people in other professions, although don't be fooled into thinking you'll have long hot summers in which to enjoy putting your feet up. Teachers work for 195 days per year in school, and do work during their holidays.

Housing and home ownership As key workers, teachers may be eligible to join home ownership schemes for help buying a home. Find out more on v

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PROFILE: School Governors’ One- Stop Shop

PROFILE – School Governors’ One- Stop Shop “People have all kinds of misconceptions about the school governor role”, writes Tom Philpott a 24 year old governor of a primary school in South East London. “Many assume that you have to be a parent, that you have to be from a certain background or that you need to have special knowledge of the education system. In fact the only qualifications required are that you be over 18 and want to help give children the best possible education”. “Volunteering as a governor in my local primary school gives me enormous satisfaction. I feel more connected with the community in which I live and I know I’m helping to improve my school. It’s a win-win volunteering opportunity with both the individual and the school gaining benefits”. More and more people, from all walks of life, are turning to school governance as a means of developing their own skills and accessing free training at the same time as giving something back to the community. Governors work as a team to plan the school’s longterm future and research has shown they can develop their talents in a

“Volunteering as a governor in my local primary school gives me enormous satisfaction. I feel more connected with the community in which I live and I know I’m helping to improve my school.”

range of areas – including leadership, finance and strategic planning. Governors generally need to commit to between two and four evening meetings each term, although this can vary from school to school. Training is provided by the Local Authority. National charity School Governors’ One-Stop Shop works to recruit

volunteers to serve on school governing bodies across England. Their services are completely free and they will work to direct your application towards a suitable school with vacancies. Contact the School Governors’ One-Stop Shop today using the details opposite and start making a difference to a school near you.

School Governors are people like you!

School Governors are critical to the effective running of local schools and there are approximately 40,000 vacancies in England at any one time. School Governors are people like you. No formal qualifications are necessary and anyone who is aged 18 or over and has roughly 6-8 hours a month to spare is invited to apply. If you would like to make a positive difference to the education of local children, and contribute to your community, then the school governor role may be for you. For more information contact: School Governors’ One- Stop Shop Tel: 020 7354 9805 email:




Teaching careers are a constant learning curve. Shirin Patel (28) explains how far she has come since completing her SCITT.


have always loved learning and always been curious as to how young children learn and understand. I therefore chose to teach, as I wanted to help each child fulfil their potential for learning and make a real difference to their lives. To see the students suddenly understand something that they find difficult is definitely the best bit of teaching. The support during my NQT year was phenomenal, as I had support from various colleagues in my department and I was really encouraged to observe excellent practice throughout the school. I was constantly asked to review each term and let the school know if I needed any extra training. They were excellent at helping me overcome any of my weak areas such as behaviour management. I’m in my second year of teaching and now deal with any challenging behaviour in the best way possible. After completing a BSc and MSC in Media Science and IT I decided to move into teaching ICT to ensure I am continually learning about a MELA 2009

subject that inspires me, so I completed a SCITT. It was undoubtedly the best route I could have chosen, as it was hands-on training. I spent the majority of my time in schools observing and teaching. This also helped me feel much more comfortable with my NQT year, as I was taking all that practical experience in with me. I achieved my PGCE in one year by competing 2 comprehensive assignments. One of them was a research task and was about how to best motivate challenging students. The theory really has helped me in my teaching. When I was two thirds into my course I started to job hunt. I looked on the TES, sent an updated CV and covering letter to various LEA’s. I also approached placement schools. I think your covering letter is definitely the most important document as you can really “sell” yourself. I received a massive amount of help from my tutor on how to create the perfect covering letter. I am currently a Teacher of ICT at working at an Academy. I teach KS3, KS4 and KS5 ICT and truly enjoy it. I find the subject really interesting to teach as technology is always changing and this can be relayed to young children. I have also organised a few vocational trips for students as students need to see ICT in the working world and they’ve really enjoyed these. Currently, I am also the ICT Key Skills ICT Coordinator and KS5 ICT Coordinator for my school. These roles have provided me excellent management skills and will help me in my quest to eventually become a Head of Department. I’ve had fantastic support from various people, e.g. with behaviour management, assessment and teaching and learning. v

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Slang cheat sheet:

NQT – Newly qualified teacher ICQ – Information & Communication Technologies SCITT – School Centred Initial Teacher Training Course PGCE – Postgraduate Certificate in Education TES – Times Educational Supplement LEA – Local Education Authorities KS – Key Stage

She’s She’s very very She’s very talented. talented. talented. She just She just just doesn’t doesn’t doesn’t know yet. know it it yet. yet. Career Opportunities in Schools CareerOpportunities Opportunities in Schools Career Teaching and Support Staff Teachingand and Support Support Staff Teaching

Bringing out the best in children is what we aim to do in Essex schools. Bringingout outthe thebest bestininchildren children isis what what we we aim aim to to do do in schools. Bringing in Essex Essex schools. With over 570 schools in the County, we can offer superb opportunities With over570 570from schools theCounty, County, we can canstaff. offer superb superb opportunities for everyone headteachers to catering With over schools ininthe we offer opportunities for everyone from headteachers to catering staff. for everyone from headteachers to catering staff.

Visit or call 01245 436252 Visit or call call 01245 01245 436252 to find out more. Visit or 436252 to find out more. to find out more.

Career going places? We offer all of our employees a challenging and rewarding work environment, whether you choose to be a firefighter, engineer, craftsperson, HR professional, Control operator, Logistics Support worker or one of our many other behind the scene’s roles, we value everyone’s contribution. To find out more: Visit Contact: Human Resources: 01277 222 531 Ext 2281 and speak to Jayne Dando

Our Values: Respect, Accountability, Openness and Involvement

WANTTODO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE? Looking to give something back to your community? Then a career in the police force could be for you. Your job, put simply, will be to reduce crime and the fear of crime.


s a police officer, you will be on the frontline of crime initiatives. But your exact role will depend on your force and whether you choose to specialise after your training. Everyone who wants to become a police officer has to complete a two-year probationary period working on the beat as a patrol constable. Many officers prefer to spend the majority of their careers on patrol - but others opt to transfer to more specialist areas of work. Whatever you choose, you will be guaranteed a varied, exciting and challenging role.

Achieving this will mean:

• meeting daily challenges • accepting responsibility • working as a team • gaining the respect of your community • and much more besides! There are many different ways you can contribute in the police force. You’ll find out much more detail on www.policecouldyou., but read on for a quick overview of the roles. MELA 2009

| 46 |

CAREERS: Police Police community support officers

As a police community support officer (PCSO) you will be the eyes and ears of your force on the street. You will have to deal with an incredible range of issues, including: • supporting victims of crime • helping with house to house enquiries • dealing with truants, graffiti, abandoned vehicles and litter • protecting the public from security threats You will be in uniform, but you won’t generally have police powers. The extent of your power can vary from force to force though, so it’s worth checking with the force you’d like to join. This isn’t a job for the faint-hearted, but if you want variety in a challenging and worthwhile career, then this could be for you.

Special constables

Specials, as they are commonly known, are an

unpaid trained force of volunteers who support the police’s work, specially in terms of public disorder. As a special, you will have full police powers and will be asked to give four hours a week to your chosen force. You will provide a vital link between the regular (full-time) police and your local community and could come from any walk of life. You may be at home bringing up a family, or in full or part-time employment. You just need to want to help your community and have a desire to make things better. If this sounds like something you could do.

Make a difference

Of course, there are other roles in the police, which might be right for you. And you can find out more about that on www.policecouldyou. Whichever role is right for you, remember you will make a difference to yourself and your community by joining the police. v


We take pride in keeping Suffolk safe. Do you want to join our team? Suffolk Constabulary is an Equal Opportunities Employer and welcomes individuals from all backgrounds. Policing provides a variety of roles from front line uniformed positions, including Special Constables, to administrative vacancies, all of which contribute to providing a high level of Policing across the county. To find out more about the exciting roles in the Suffolk Constabulary and to see our current vacancies please visit | 47 |

MELA 2009

LIFE & HEALTH: Health Care



Nurses are the cornerstone of the health system. While doctors will do the actual surgery, nurses will know the patient, care for them and help them through any trouble they may have. Therefore, a career in nursing would be a good match for anyone with a caring soul.


f you want to work in an environment that’s interesting, rewarding and challenging, a career in nursing will give you plenty of scope to do exactly that. Nurses form the largest group of staff in the NHS and are a crucial part of the healthcare team. Nurses work in every sort of health setting from accident and emergency to working in patients’ homes, with people of all ages and backgrounds. So, if you’ve got an interest in caring for people, you’ll find a role that suits you in nursing. Some nurses begin their career by working their way up from support roles, which require no set qualifications, and go on to train for a registered nursing degree or diploma, which qualifies them to work as a nurse. Others apply straight MELA 2009

to university to undertake their studies. Whatever route you take, you’ll need to gain a degree or diploma in nursing, during which the NHS will support you. For instance, your tuition fees will usually be paid and you will be eligible for a bursary. Once you are part of the NHS, you’ll benefit from flexible working arrangements, excellent benefits and a wealth of opportunities to help you fulfil your ambitions and progress up the career ladder. There are few professions that offer so much in terms of job satisfaction and support, while giving you the chance to enhance people’s lives during their times of need. To work as a nurse in the NHS, you must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which means | 48 |

you’ll need a degree or diploma in nursing. However, there are many ways in which you can become a registered nurse. For instance, you can work your way up from being a healthcare assistant (which may not require any qualifications), and progress to apply for a place on a degree or diploma course, or you can begin your professional study after gaining your A levels. Depending on experience and training there are plenty of opportunities for you to rise up the ranks to manage teams, run wards and even reach consultant level, if desired. While you may think that nursing is nursing, that there can only be one kind of nurse, you would be mistaken. There are nurses who deal exclusively with patients with learning disabilities, neonatal nurses who work with newborns and quite often premature babies. There are also those nurses who work out of prisons and will therefore deal with more substance abuse, as well as district nurses, who will often do house calls and care for people in their own home. As you can see, nursing is a wide and varied career and well worth considering. v


Proud of nurses and midwives The Nursing & Midwifery Council is delighted to support Mela. Nurses and midwives come from every section of society, and every part of the world to work in healthcare in the UK, and as the registering and regulating body for the professions, the NMC ensures that they have the necessary skills and experience to practise safely. Central to this is the Code, which sets out the standards of conduct, against nurses and midwives, and we performance and ethics you can expect can strike people off our register if from the nurses and midwives who care they are not fit to practise. While the for you and your family. Every nurse number of cases we hear every year and midwife in the country is signed is small, compared to the 675,000 up to it, and you can get a copy of the people on our register, we take this Code by calling us on 020 7333 9333 or responsibility seriously and look for visiting our website at high quality12:20 panellists, both Anad important of the NMC 1 01/09/2008 NMC for BHMfunction 20080901:Layout Page 1 healthcare professional and lay people, to judge is hearing allegations of misconduct

these cases. We want to ensure that the panellists who hear cases reflect the UK’s diversity and we’d warmly welcome more applicants from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. If you want to help us to safeguard the public’s health and wellbeing, you can find more information about getting involved on our website.

You’re in safe hands From the time you’re born until the end of your life, nurses and midwives care for you and your family. Thanks to the work of the Nursing & Midwifery Council in setting standards and dealing with people who aren’t safe to practise, you can be assured that you’re in safe hands. The Code sets out the standards of conduct, performance and ethics you can expect from the people who care for you. Every nurse and midwife in the UK is signed up to it. You can read it on our website or we can send you a copy.

Go to or call

020 7333 9333 | 49 |

MELA 2009



Midwives are the foundation of society – we all will have been around them at some point in our early life. They are moral support, helping hand and expert advisor all in one. MELA 2009


here are almost threequarters of a million births in the UK each year, and midwives are the lead professional at two-thirds of all of them. The midwife is the expert in normal birth – the type of birth that most women have. It doesn’t matter what stage of your training you are at: you might be considering whether to become a midwife or not, be half way through your training, or be about to enter the world of work– it helps to | 50 |

have a good idea of what you are aiming for. So what are the skills and competences that a good midwife needs? A good midwife promotes health and wellbeing at all times. He or she is accountable for their practice and works well in partnership with women and their families to give support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period. The midwife’s role is much more than just caring for a woman during her labour however, as vitally important

LIFE & HEALTH: Midwifery

“ a wide range of backgrounds. They should act as an advocate for women and be able to work in partnership with them to develop a trusting relationship. It is in childhood that the foundations of a lifetime of good health can be laid. It is during pregnancy, childbirth and in those precious days and weeks at the beginning of a life that the earliest and most important building blocks are laid. And it is the midwife who plays a crucial role at that all-important time. v | 51 |

The midwife can offer advice, assistance and guidance to all women, focussed on a woman’s individual needs. After the birth, the midwife can help to promote breastfeeding.”

as that time is. The midwife cares for a woman throughout the antenatal period and in the first few days and weeks of the newborn’s life. Good midwives are taught to understand, promote and facilitate normal childbirth. They are able to identify the complications that can arise in women and babies, access appropriate assistance and implement the correct emergency measures when necessary. Good midwives provide a high level of midwifery care and work in collaboration with other health professionals to ensure continuous support for women who require referral. The midwife can offer advice, assistance and guidance to all women, focussed on a woman’s individual needs. After the birth, the midwife can help to promote breastfeeding. Midwives are committed to developing a womancentred maternity service providing a vital contribution to public health and an essential investment in the wellbeing of tomorrow’s citizens. Good midwives have the skill of information giving and know how important it is for a woman to be able to make decisions supported by evidencebased information. A midwife needs to be able to discuss this information in an unbiased way and demonstrate that they care about and understand the needs of their patient. A good midwife must have highly developed interpersonal skills and be able to communicate with people from

MELA 2009



GLANCE A child can enrich your life in a way you may not even realise. But even if you’re not married, fostering or adoption is a path worth exploring. Everything you need to know is explained below.


ostering is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their own parents. It is often used to provide temporary care while parents get help sorting out problems, take a break, or to help children or young people through a difficult period in their lives. Often children will return home once the problems that caused them to come into foster care have been resolved and it is clear that parents are able to look after them safely. Others may stay in long-term foster care, some may be adopted, and others will move on to live independently.

Are there different types of fostering?

Types of foster care include: •Emergency - where children need somewhere safe to stay for a few nights. • Short-term - where carers look after children for a few weeks or months, while plans are made for the child’s future. MELA 2009

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LIFE & HEALTH: Fostering • Short-breaks - where disabled children or children with special needs or behavioural difficulties enjoy a short stay on a preplanned, regular basis with a new family, and their parents or usual foster carers have a short break for themselves. •Remand fostering - where young people in England or Wales are “remanded” by the court to the care of a specially trained foster carer. Scotland does not use remand fostering as young people tend to attend a Children’s hearing rather than go to court. However, the children’s hearing might send a young person to a secure unit and there are now some schemes in Scotland looking at developing fostering as an alternative to secure accommodation. •Long-term - not all children who cannot return to their own families want to be adopted, especially older children or those who continue to have regular contact with relatives. These children live with long-term foster carers until they reach adulthood and are ready to live independently.

•“Family and friends” or “kinship” fostering where children who are looked after by a local authority are cared for by people they already know. This can be very beneficial for children, and is called “family and friends” or “kinship” fostering. If they are not looked after by the local authority, children can live with their aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters or grandparents without outside involvement.

Is fostering a job?

All foster carers are registered with and contracted to a local authority or voluntary or independent agency. Many foster carers are volunteers, but increasingly they are seen as professionals and receive a fee on a basis of being self employed.

What do foster carers do?

The foster carer’s role is to provide high quality care for the child. All children in foster care will be looked after by a local authority and the foster cares will work in partnership with the local authority to provide this. The foster carers may also work with

THURROCK’S FOSTERING Local Children, Local Homes, Local Needs... Becoming a foster carer for Thurrock is your chance to make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable children. Of course, we appreciate that fostering a child is not a decision to be taken lightly. You’ll need time, patience and a caring attitude, as well as room in your home. If you have all these to offer, give fostering a chance.

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For Information on fostering for Thurrock call free on

0800 652 1256

The freephone line is open from 8am - 7pm Mon - Fri and 9am - 2pm on Saturdays or visit

MELA 2009

LIFE & HEALTH: Fostering

What is the difference between adoption and fostering?

other professionals such as therapists, teachers or doctors to help the child to deal with emotional traumas or physical or learning disabilities.

What kind of people become foster carers?

Fostering agencies, including local authorities, need a wide range of people to meet children and young people’s very different needs. It is best for children to live with foster carers who reflect and understand the child’s heritage, ethnic origin, culture and language, and fostering agencies need carers from all types of backgrounds. People do not need to be married to become a foster family - they can also be single, divorced or cohabiting. Gay men and lesbians can become foster carers, although in Scotland they can only do so as single individuals living on their own. People in households with 2 or more unrelated adults of the same sex can’t foster in Scotland. There are no upper age limits for fostering, but fostering agencies expect people to be mature enough to work with the complex problems that children needing fostering are likely to have, and fit enough to perform this very demanding task! MELA 2009

Foster carers share the responsibility for the child with a local authority and the child’s parents. Fostering is usually a temporary arrangement, though sometimes foster care may be the plan until the child grows up. This longterm or “permanent” fostering cannot provide the same legal security as adoption for either the child or the foster family but it may be the right plan for some children.

What is adoption?

Adoption is a way of providing a new family for children who cannot be brought up by their own parents. It’s a legal procedure in which all the parental responsibility is transferred to the adopters. Once an adoption order has been granted it can’t be reversed except in extremely rare circumstances. An adopted child loses all legal ties with their first mother and father (the “birth parents”) and becomes a full member of the new family, usually taking the family’s name. v For more information, see

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MELA 2009


NEW YEAR in style

Baishakhi Mela celebrates Bengali New Year in London’s Brick Lane!

MELA 2009

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LISTINGS: National The sun shone as record numbers – nearly one hundred thousand - turned out for the Mela to celebrate the Bengali New Year at one of the biggest events of its kind outside of Bangladesh. Organised by Tower Hamlets Council, a Baishakhi Mela in Banglatown Brick Lane roared into action with a spectacular procession through the crowd lined streets of Brick Lane and the surrounding area. More than 250 dancers, musicians, school children and community groups joined the magnificent mechanical Bengali Tiger and the Bangla Queen – a four metre tall peacock structure – in the colourful parade. Councillor Rofique U Ahmed, Lead Member for Culture at Tower Hamlets Council said: “This year’s Mela was fantastic. It was great to see so many people enjoying the procession, music and food. “I’d like to say a big thanks to all of those who took part and turned up. The Mela is a community event and your support and involvement is crucial in making it a success.” Arriving in Weavers Fields the procession marked the start of the seven hour entertainment bonanza. The crowds cheered as the biggest names in Bengali music hit the stage. Momtaz Begum, Selim Choudhury and Shireen were just a handful of the stars whose voices beamed out to the thousands in Weavers Fields. | 57 |

Before her performance Momtaz the headline act said: “I’m really excited to be here and looking forward to performing in front of such a big crowd. This is my first time at the Mela and the atmosphere here is fantastic.” DJs and presenters from BBC Asian Network, who alongside Channel S were the event’s media partners, kept the audience entertained as they introduce a stellar line-up of international and local acts. BBC Asian Networks Head of Music Mark Strippel said: “BBC Asian Network are very proud to have been the radio supporter of the successful Baishakhi Mela for the first time this year.” Just under 200 food, craft and community stalls filled Weavers Fields, Allen Gardens and Brick Lane. Serving up tasty treats and Bengali inspired goods, the stalls helped keep the audience of 95,000 fed and watered as international and UK artists played on three stages – two in Weavers Fields and one in Allen Gardens – throughout the afternoon. Megan Rowling and her family enjoyed the festivities in Weavers Fields. The resident from Bethnal Green said: “The Mela is a great family day out. I’ve come down to listen to the great mix of music here as I know there are some big stars from Bangladesh who have flown over for the event. “I’d definitely recommend the Mela to anyone who has never been.” v MELA 2009

Sun 10 May

Baishakhi Mela – Brick Lane, London Taking place from 12 noon the seven hour entertainment bonanza which celebrates the Bengali New Year concludes with the phenomenal Mumtaz Begum. She will take to the stage after the likes of Selim Choudhury, Nukul Kumar Bishash and Kajol Dewan have worked the crowds. She will entertain the audience with her unique singing voice which hits all the right notes - especially the high ones. The East End’s latest performing sensation to follow in the footsteps of chart topping rapper Dizzy Rascal is Mumzy. The British Bengali MC and DJ will be on the main stage in the afternoon and is sure to attract the younger generation. And Grand Union Bangla, a 20 piece orchestra, fresh from a tour of

Bangladesh will appear on stage with a host of guest singers and musicians including Lucy Rahman, Yousuf Ali Khan, Shahdat Hossain Khan, Kala Miah, Shumi and Meherun Kanak. Weavers Field, Bethnal Green Road, 12 – 9pm, free,

Sun 7 Jun

Nottingham Mela – Mela 21 This year’s celebration of Asian music, dance, art and culture will be split across three venues, with over 10,000 people expected to attend. The great line up is led by iconic Bhangra superstar Jazzy B, South Asian dance impresario’s Akademi with their latest production - Initium, Ghazal legend Najma Akhtar, and all the way from India, Gujarati folk dancers Vasuki Sanskrutik. Old Market Square, Royal

Centre and New Art Exchange, Hyson Green, 12 – 7pm, free

Sun 14 Jun

Preston Mela Preston Mela is now in its eleventh year as a major public - community cultural event for the city. This Mela is a one-day flagship event to showcase and promote Preston’s South Asian heritage, art and culture, which celebrates cultural diversity and promotes community cohesion. The Mela committee, made up of community representatives organise a full day festival that supports and promotes both traditional and conventional South Asian arts, culture and heritage of music, dance, crafts and food. Last year’s Mela was a great success and included a full programme of performances by professional artists, a number of interactive craft, dance and music workshops, fashion shows, craft and food stalls. Mela 2009 promises to offer an equally diverse and engaging program. Avenham Park, 12 – 5pm, free, tel: 01772 903660, events@preston.

Sat 13 Jun/Sun 14 Jun Enjoying every minute: Visitors

MELA 2009

life. at London Mela have the time of the © Kois Miah

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Bradford Mela 2009 will be a big

LISTINGS: National radio roadshows. Cannon Hill Park, 2 – 8pm, free

Sun 5 Jul

Cowley Road Carnival Currently planned for the first Sunday of July, the Cowley Road Carnival has taken the place of the previous Oxford Mela. For more details, check the website closer to the date. Hanging by a thread: An artist perfo rms at last year’s London Mela. © Kois Miah

year for Bradford Mela when it celebrates its ‘Coming of Age’ - marking the 21st anniversary of the original Bradford Mela. The Bradford Mela in 1988 was the first event of its kind in Europe and this years event will see the same family friendly mix of quality outdoor entertainment, tasty snack foods, street theatre, market stalls, children’s activities and funfair rides that made the first event so special. Bradford Mela 2009 promises to be an extraspecial celebration, with specially commissioned work and collaborations, new performance areas, more workshops to watch and take part in, a new look children’s zone, and of course the best in local and international entertainment.

Sun 21 Jun

Glasgow Mela Glasgow Mela is the city’s biggest multi-cultural festival celebrating the ethnic diversity

of Scotland. This year the event will take place on Sunday 21st June 2009, in the beautiful setting of the city’s Kelvingrove Park. Celebrating its 18th birthday this year, the Glasgow Mela regularly attracts 25,000 visitors and is a focal point of Scotland’s cultural calendar. With vibrant music, colourful dance, interactive arts as well as plenty of family fun and youth entertainment, Mela is a festival like no other. Confirmed artists so far include Jassi Sidhu and Mona. Kelvingrove Park, free, Tel: 0141 287 9808, glasgowmela

Sun 5 Jul

Crawley Mela, Part I Back again, bigger, better and more international than ever, Mela Festival 2009 offers a full weekend of family fun and activity with something for everyone. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Spread over several weekends, this first part of the Mela includes a multifaith Parade featuring the return of the fabulous Bloco Fogo Samba street band and a route through the town centre from West Green to Memorial

July (date TBC)

Birmingham Eid Mela Birmingham’s Muslim communities transform Cannon Hill Park for the city’s largest ever Mela, featuring music, sports (including kabaddi), dressage and a family fun run, bazaars, fashion shows and | 59 |

Catwalk Fashion at Edinburgh Mela.

MELA 2009

A dance performance at last year’s

Edinburgh Mela.

look forward to fun music. For more information and a venue, please check the website closer to the time.

Sat 18 Jul

Gardens. Second weekend is 25/26 July. West Green Park to Memorial Gardens, all day, free,

Fri 10 Jul – Sun 12 Jul

Eastleigh Mela and Music Festival This year’s Mela is again taking place on the same weekend as the Eastleigh Music Festival, so music fans will be offered plenty of opportunities to enjoy the music. Eastleigh Mela is this year MELA 2009

on the Sunday, with confirmed guests so far including Kissmet. Leigh Road Recreation Ground, adjacent to The Point, all day, free, www.

Sun 12 Jul

Oldham Mela Confirmed so far this year is Rishi Rish. Part of Oldham’s Festival of Diversity, with events spanning April all the way through August and National Play Day, we can | 60 |

Southampton Mela Back for the seventh time running, Southampton Mela has yet to reveal its secretive line-up but promises the usual lively range of music and dance including Bollywood, Asian Fusion, Indian Classical and Bhangra, as well as other world music and dance including Chinese, Spanish and Afghan. Vivid exhibitions and stalls will line the park selling an assortment of goods including clothing, gifts and beauty treatments like Henna or threading. Workshops, demonstrations and activities for the whole family run throughout the day, whilst the food court and bar offers a range of tasty dishes and drinks from around the world. Hoglands Park, City Centre, 12 – 9pm, free, tel: 023 8022 6212, southampton-mela-festival

Sat 18 Jul/Sun 19 Jul

Boromela – Middlesbrough Mela Middlesbrough Mela is celebrating its 18th year in 2009. The event started in the town centre in 1991 and soon outgrew the venue and made a very positive move to Albert Park, right in the heart of the BME community. The park has been the recipient of Heritage

LISTINGS: National Lottery funding to restore it to its former glory and the event benefits from the spectacular back drop. The Mela regularly get up to 30,000 visitors and even last year with torrential rain the event attracted 27,000 people. Middlesbrough Mela is notoriously a completely trouble free event. The audiences are growing year on year. Acts to be confirmed at a later date, please check the website. Albert Park, Park Vale Road, all day, free, tel: 01642 729 225,

Sun 19 July

Slough Mela The Slough Mela offers extensive activities targeting the whole family. The event brings together the diverse ethnic communities from slough and surrounding areas. It has effectively integrated these communities together and now it has also extended its appeal

to the wider communities. Attractions range from all the fun of the fair through to live music presented on a live concert stage, with community, information and food trade stands in between. Lineup to be confirmed, check website. Upton Court Park, Upton Court Road, 12 – 8pm, Adults £5, Under 12 £3, Under 5 go free,

Sun 19 Jul

Tunbridge Wells Mela Music, food and dance from around the world will be on the menu at the third Tunbridge Wells Mela on Sunday July 20 at the Calverley Grounds between 12pm and 5pm. The free event is expected to attract a large audience, who will witness performances and be able to taste food from around the world, including Britain, India, Ireland, Bangladesh, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Brazil. Acts have yet to be confirmed. Calverley Grounds, Mount Pleasant, free, tel: 01892 554

Stilt walker Rebecca enjoys a diffe rent view of the London Mela. © Kois Miah | 61 |


Sun 19 Jul

Rochdale Borough Mega Mela The Rochdale Borough Mega Mela has become a major multicultural annual event, celebrating the cultural diversity and community cohesion. This is Rochdale´s biggest annual public cultural event of it´s social calendar. The Mela is expected to attract 5,000 throughout the day. The event will include funfair, high profile national and international performances by Western, Afro Caribbean and Asian bands, Visual Arts workshops, Fashion show, dance and various stalls including businesses, food from a variety of different countries, fashion, designer jewellery, arts and crafts. Venue & Time TBC, megamela.htm,

Sat 25 Jul

Swindon Mela Following on from the fantastic performance at Mela 2007 and the huge success of album Living the Dream Swindon Mela are really pleased to welcome back Sukshinder Shinda who will grace the stage of the Bowl on the evening of the Mela. Food is an essential ingredient of any Mela. The Swindon Mela has fourteen food stalls from a variety of caterers offering Punjabi, MELA 2009

Gujerati and Halal food as well as delicious Indian ice creams and sweets. Swindon Mela is more than music and dance. There are plenty of ways to delve into and enjoy Asian inspired activities including all day arts and crafts workshops. Town Gardens, free,

Sat 25 Jul/Sun 26 Jul

Manchester Mega Mela Last year’s Mega Mela saw Hunterz, Raghav, Imran Khan and Labh Janjua perform on the main stage, so we’re sure this year’s lineup will more than match. So far, we know that there will be the usual display of Street Art, Arts & Crafts, Food Stalls and music. Platt Fields Park, Fallowfields, free,

Sat 25 Jul/Sun 26 Jul

Crawley Mela, Part II Back again, bigger, better and more international than ever, Mela Festival 2009 offers a full weekend of family fun and activity with something for everyone. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The second part of this Mela, spread over several weekends (first being 5 July). Not only the traditional Mela Festival planned, but also a range of community services around the year, including: Youth Events with Crawley Vision In Youth Collective – a special 24 July Friday evening gig, details to be announced. MELA 2009

Also planned is a free outdoor concert by popular demand, Singh is King is back for three hours on Saturday 25 July from 6pm. The Hawth, Crawley, free,

Sat 1 Aug/Sun 2 Aug

Croydon Summer Party and Mela Taking place on the same weekend as the Summer Festval, Croydon’s Mela on Sunday boasts an impressive line-up, including Malkit Singh, Swami, Grand Union Bangla Band and Lokkhi Terra. Lloyd Park, Coombe Road, Croydon, 1 – 8pm, free, tel: 020 87266000,, uk

Sun 2 Aug

East London Mela The East London Mela offers extensive activities targeting the whole family. The event brings together the diverse

Baishakhi Mela celebrates Bengali

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ethnic communities from East London and surrounding areas. It has effectively integrated these communities together and now it has also extended its appeal to the wider communities. Attractions range from all the fun of the fair through to live music presented on a live concert stage, with community, information and food trade stands in between. Lineup to be confirmed, check website. Barking Park, Longbridge Road, 12 – 8pm, Adults £4, Under 12 £3, Under 5 go free,

Fri 7 Aug – Sun 9 Aug

Edinburgh Mela Edinburgh’s Mela Festival aims to bring a great blend of local and international acts to Pilrig Park in Leith this August, promising to once again showcase a varied range of culturally diverse performances. This year’s Mela Festival takes place 7 – 9 August,

New Year in London’s Brick Lane!

LISTINGS: National offering an arts and cultural programme enhanced by the Mela’s traditional family atmosphere including food stalls, children and family programme and a mini bazaar selling jewellery, shoes and traditional items of clothing. The Mela is seeking use of Pilrig Park, which has been home to the Mela in previous years and is set to retain the blend of renowned specialist performers, international acts and broader cultural activities that were part of last year’s event at Ocean Terminal. Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council, the Mela will continue to work closely with stakeholders and residents surrounding Pilrig Park to limit noise and traffic disruption from the event. Venue TBC,

Sun 9 Aug

Cardiff Mela Wales largest Mela is back for another year. Confirmed so far this year is H-Dhami, but with acts including Imran Khan, Anusha, Shizzio and Bobby Singh part of last year’s lineup, you just know that it will get bigger and better. Oval Basin, Roald Dahl Plass, all day, free,

Sun 9 Aug

Bolton Mela Last year’s event offered all the great things you’d expect from a Mela, ranging from Fashion Shows to food stalls through live music and plays. This

year’s promises to be even better. For more information, please check the website closer to the time. Venue & Time TBC, free,

Sun 16 Aug

London Mela This year’s London Mela will be held in Gunnersbury Park on Sunday 16th August, there will be seven zones with urban, classical and experimental music, DJs, circus, dance, visual arts, comedy and a children’s play area. Gunnersbury Park, free,

Sun 30 Aug

Belfast Mela Last year’s Belfast Mela featured fantastic artists including Off Licence, Desi Nach, Visra and the Foundation for Indian Performing Arts. This year’s event, the third to take place in Belfast, will offer an even bigger and better lineup. Stages | 63 |

featuring Live International Music & Dance, a World Food Market, an Eco-Friendly Area, a Craft Village Ethnic Bazaar, Cultural Workshops & Cookery Demostrations, Henna workshops, Street Entertainment, Bollywood Films, children’s Fun Fair and Rickshaw Rides are on offer. Botanic Gardens, 12 – 6pm, free,

Fri 04 Sep

Newham Mela The Mela rocks back into Central Park this summer offering a heavenly cocktail of music for the masses. Hosted by Sonia Deol and Bobby Friction, it promises big Asian Music acts. Part of the Newham Under the Stars series of concerts that run from 31 August to 3 September, the Mela is bound to be one of the cornerstones of the summer festivals. Newham Central Park, 7 – 11pm, free, bigsummer. MELA 2009


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MELA 2009

YouYou can also can alsododothis thisvia viaemail: email:

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Publications for everyone To see the full range of publications and websites visit

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At home in New York as much as India, singer Reenie has successfully blended Indian with Western influences, along the way working with a slew of successful producers. She talks to Jonathan Williams about performing at Melas and Reenifying her music.


o you enjoy the buzz of performing at Melas, with the live crowd? Absolutely! Its always exciting performing and interacting with live responsive crowds.

I have moved base to Mumbai for now and plan to tour and perform extensively here along with the Middle East and eventually the U.S promoting my new single, while I also simultaneously work on completing the whole album.

Since you started touring, what was your most memorable concert? My performance at Newham Under the Stars at the Central Park in East London. It was my first time in front of such a massive and receptive crowd. Was great!

Where can you still go musically, as your first album almost covered all music styles? My first album was a little taste of all different kinds of Dance, R’n’B, Pop flavours that I recorded with a Solo Producer. It was a starting point. Going forward, I have been collaborating with different producers from around the world and coming up with further diverse and interesting sounds. The common thread that ties all of my work and distinguishes it as mine, is my vocal style of singing and a signature Hindi middle

When did you know you’d really made it as a singer? Well have I? [laughs] From my point of view, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Apart from these UK gigs, what else have you got in the pipeline? MELA 2009

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eight that I always throw in to “Reenify” all my songs, if I may say so. I am currently working on some very unique and original projects that i hope are well received and that further establish my vibe! v Reenie will be performing at Middlesbrough Mela on 18 and 19 July. Her MySpace page is reenieonline


…Artist: Sting! …Food: Indian street food! …Drink: Cold Water! …DJ: Tiesto /Aadil Rasheed. …Book: Personal Power Through Awareness. …Era of music: 80’s and now! …Genre of music: Reggae, Alternative, World fusion, Bossanva, Pop RnB, Old Hindi Film songs... All kinds of good music!

Mobilising BME communities for Sexual Health

Naz Project London (NPL) is London’s largest and longest established Black and Ethnic Minority Sexual Health & HIV/AIDS support agency. NPL’s work currently targets the following communities in London: - Eritrean - Ethiopian - African Caribbean - Latin American Spanish speaking - Portuguese speaking - Somali - South Asian For the last 18 years, we have offered our clients the following services: • Advice, referral and advocacy on Sexual Health issues • Peer support groups for people living with HIV • Support for HIV testing • One to one support and counselling • Lesbian and gay support groups • Cultural and linguistic support • Case work and home visits • Free condoms • Volunteering opportunities • Training and education For more information please call on 020 8741 1879 or visit our website,

Money matters. Especially if it ’s yours. Already complained to your bank, insurance company or finance firm? Still not happy? The ombudsman has official powers to help settle financial complaints. Set up by law, our service is free for consumers. We’re independent and decide what’s fair by looking at the facts. 0845 080 1800

Meet the ombudsman at the Melas Glasgow 21 June, Oldham 12 July, Cardiff 9 August and Belfast 30 August

Mela UK 2009  

Every summer thousands of people from across different Asian cultures come together to attend Melas throughout the UK. The Melas provide a u...