Since 1982 Leicester Belgrave Mela has been a community focused celebration of South Asian Arts and Indian Culture which has left a trail of milestones, memories and memorabilia in its path. Over the years the festival has changed name, changed location and grown dramatically but its values and mission remain the same.
‘Belgrave Mela: a 30 year history’ was a project developed by Leicester Belgrave Mela, supported by Rushey Mead Secondary School, Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Belgrave Library and BBC Radio Leicester. It enabled us to conserve part of the UK’s diverse heritage for present and future generations to experience and enjoy.
Ever since it began, the Leicester Belgrave Mela (formally known as the ‘Belgrave Carnival’ and ‘Belgrave Mela’) has played a major part in community cohesion in Leicester. This is why it was important to us that the local community were able to learn, explore, celebrate and help us to preserve the legacy it has created.
1982 to 1986 | Belgrave Carnival | Cossington Park
1987 to 1999 | Belgrave Mela | Cossington Park
2000 to 2004 | Leicester Belgrave Mela | Abbey Park
2005 to 2012 | Leicester Belgrave Mela Festival | City Centre
Leicester Belgrave Mela is still an annual community festival, in addition, it is now internationally renowned and attracts tens of thousands of people each year. Thanks to the financial support that we have received from the Heritage Lottery Fund, through this project we have been able to create a unique souvenir brochure, a short documentary film and this online exhibition to capture the highlights and details of the festivals first 30 years. In addition to this we have started the foundations of a formal archive to store and preserve memories and memorabilia of the Mela, while it continues to build and continues to be a rich part of English Heritage.