Remember when: dressed to impress at the Mela

The Desi Bravehearts dance group performs in 2012. Picture: TSPL

The Desi Bravehearts dance group performs in 2012. Picture: TSPL

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NEWS emerged this week that one of Edinburgh’s biggest cultural events, the Mela, is in crisis after the sudden walk-out of its director amid claims it is being “destroyed from within”.

The Mela has been an important fixture on the Capital’s cultural calender for 21 years.

Children of the Sea, Sri Lankan dancers who were all affected by the 2005 tsunami. Picture: TSPL

Children of the Sea, Sri Lankan dancers who were all affected by the 2005 tsunami. Picture: TSPL

It is currently backed by the city council, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government, via its Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund – but there are fears its public funding could be stripped amid an ongoing boardroom battle.

The two-day festival, held on Leith Links in recent years, attracts crowds of more than 25,000 people .

In March 2012, members of the Desi Bravehearts Dance Group performed at the festival, wearing beautiful emerald green, gold and blue costumes.

Dancers from the Children of the Sea Edinburgh Festival show wowed crowds in Pilrig Park, where the Mela was held in 2005.

From left, Mahbubul Haque, Bansi Kaul, Biswadip Nandi and Adip Dutta create some decorations for the Mela in 2000. Picture: TSPL

From left, Mahbubul Haque, Bansi Kaul, Biswadip Nandi and Adip Dutta create some decorations for the Mela in 2000. Picture: TSPL

The Sri Lankan dancers’ trip was particularly poignant as they had all been affected by the Tsunami at the start of that year.

Pilrig Park also played host in 2009 when Dance Ihayami rehearsed ahead of the opening night.

At the turn of the century, Mahbubul Haque, Bansi Kaul, Biswadip Nadi and Adip Dutta were working on the decorations which would light up the celebrations.

Dance Ihayami rehearse in Pilrig Park before the opening night of the 2009 Mela. Picture: TSPL

Dance Ihayami rehearse in Pilrig Park before the opening night of the 2009 Mela. Picture: TSPL