Heralding the start of A Baishakhi Mela in Banglatown Brick Lane and the 40th Anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh will be a colourful and vibrant parade. Starting from Buxton Street and ending at Weavers Fields, the procession will incorporate a number of local schools and community groups bringing festive music, colour and cheer to the streets around Brick Lane.
Glorious and glittering floats will feature aspects of Bangladeshi life, from the poignant reminder of the struggle for change through the miniature Shaheed Minar monument, to a celebration of the joyous occasion that is a traditional Bengali wedding. The significant contribution made by the curry industry to British cultural life will also be represented, and adding to the ambience will be local radio Betar Bangla churning out favourite tunes from the back of a rickshaw!
The streets will come alive as musicians play traditional instruments such as the dhol, etkara, flute, dofki, and mandira - mainly string, percussion and wind instruments which are mostly used for Baul, Bhatiyali and folk tunes. Instrumentalists will be accompanied by patriotic songs and those which celebrate the Bengali New Year. The national identity of Bangladesh will be further highlighted through specially choreographed dance pieces and colourful traditional costumes.
The procession has been created by Medialink who have organised a series of workshops to engage local schools and community groups in the run up to the Baishakhi Mela. Participants have created artistic renditions of Bangladeshi alphabetical symbols as well as popular animals and fish from Bangladesh. Youth groups in the borough have also had the opportunity to enter a creative banner competition focussing on cultural identity.
Timings and Route
The parade will start at 11.30am from Buxton Street, by Allen Gardens. The procession will turn left onto Brick Lane, left into Old Montague Street, then onto Vallance Road and into Weavers Fields for approximately 12.15pm.
Come and join the fun!