Eastleigh Mela will feature giant naan bread

jugglers, Eastleigh Mela

Eastleigh Mela will be celebrating it’s ninth year tomorrow (Sunday 6 July) with an attempt by Hampshire firefighters to break the world record for the world’s largest naan bread.

As usual the popular community event will be held on Leigh Road recreation ground with participants and performers from a range of diverse backgrounds such as an Irish Dance group, The Eastleigh Fusion Choir, A Dragon Dance group, a puppet theatre, or a English Pop cover band. There are National performers from the Asian pop scene, like Tasha Tah, San 2, JC Sona and Sonu.

Firefighters are confident that they will beat the world naan record whilst raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity, Water Wells Project and Hampshire Hurracanes.

The aim is to cook a naan bread at least 3 metres by 1.2 metres. The current record measured 2.89 metres by 1 metre and weighed 9.5 kg (20lb 15oz).

The firefighters will be assisted in their attempt by local naan experts – staff from the Badi Mirchi and Sanjha restaurant.

Giant naan

This is what the giant naan looked like on a trial run

There will also a host of other attractions on the Rec including a climbing wall, dance workshops and competitions, kite making, face painting, falconry display, puppet theatre and sports activities for children.

There will be food from Poland, the Caribbean, Indian subcontinent, and from the AWCA stall, special home made Kulfis- Indian ice creams, in Chocolate, Coconut and Vanilla flavours together with stalls selling crafts , jewellery and giving health checks and information.

Mayor of Eastleigh Cllr Tony Noyce said:

“I’m delighted to be attending The Mela that is loved by all our communities and celebrates ‘Cultural Fusion’. We are happy to support this great community event.”

The Mela is organised by volunteers from the Asian Welfare and Cultural Association, (AWCA), and receives support from various groups and organisations, including Eastleigh Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Darshan Mann, Chair of the AWCA said,

” The Mela is a feel-good event. It celebrates and shows how we can enjoy being with each other, share music, food and savour the sunshine.”

There is also support from Barclays Bank, Costco, Asda, Yau Brothers, Churches Together, and Eastleigh Gurkha and Nepalese Association (EGNA).

Ram Kalyan ‘Kelly’ Project and Station Manager from Unity 101 Radio said:

“The Mela gives us an opportunity to advance better understanding of each other through the medium of music, traditional dance and sharing of food – including a giant naan”.

The Mela will run form 11am – 6pm and you can watch the naan record attempt at 12 noon,

  8 comments for “Eastleigh Mela will feature giant naan bread

  1. July 5, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Hedge End Town Council also donated £120 to the Asian Welfare & Cultural Association, as a grant towards staging the Mela. See the minutes of the Community & Culture meeting from February..

    To be fair, Community & Culture did significantly reduce the AWCA original request for £500, but their donation still means that Hedge Enders have effectively contributed to this event (which is being staged in Eastleigh Town Centre) three times, i.e. via the HCC, EBC and HETC components of their Council Tax….

    Five times actually, if you recall that we also contribute to the Fire & Police Authorities via our Council Tax…

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      July 6, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Well I’m sure Hedge Enders will be keen to support such an inclusive and diverse community event and hope many will come into town to enjoy the day (but watch out for pickpockets – police have issued a warning).
      I did wonder if the Chair of AWCA Darshan Mann was the same Darshan Mann who is also a Lib Dem councillor for Eastleigh South because there is no mention of AWCA on the Councillor’s register of interests published on the council website but it seems they are indeed one and the same as Councillor Mann declared an interest at the Eastleigh Local Area Committee meeting in March and took no part in the vote to grant £2000 to the event.
      In 2011, prior to Cllr Mann becoming a councillor, the award was only £500.
      I wonder how many other Local Area Committees supported the event?
      I think it is an important event as it helps to nail the lie that “Eastleigh is full of racists”
      I was a bit depressed to watch this video “Eastleigh – the town that hates Europe” in which our town is described as a ‘nowhere town’ and as ‘utterly forgettable’

      Is this really how outsiders view us?

      • July 6, 2014 at 5:12 pm

        I think AWCA are a bit cheeky actually, going to the Parish Councils cap in hand having already blagged some cash from the Borough Council. I wouldn’t have the nerve to do that myself…

        I think the grants that are handed out at Parish level should be exclusively for events and activities that take place in the Parish. If taxpayers money has to go into the Mela, it should be funded exclusively by the Borough.

        We need to establish that principle and we need Parish Cllrs who will say ‘No’ in the face of such requests, though I accept it is difficult for Hedge End. One of the Town Cllrs is actively involved with the AWCA and has to leave the committee meetings where these grants are discussed. His colleagues are hardly going to say no, are they, but I think they should…

        Better still, the AWCA shouldn’t be so cheeky and shouldn’t ask the Parishes for money to fund the Mela…..

        • mm
          Eastleigh Xpress
          July 6, 2014 at 6:15 pm

          Do you know if HETC has also contributed towards Eastleigh’s Mardi Gras or the winterval festivities?

          Hmmm…there are always a number of food concession stalls at the mela…I wonder if the pitches are rented out and who gets the revenue?

          If pitches are rented I would assume it would be the council who benefit so some of that money would come back.

          It makes sense for ELAC to support the mela because it brings a lot of free spending folk into the town – presumably they won’t be spending in Hedge End that day!

          • July 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm

            I haven’t looked into that Stephen, but will keep an eye on it.

            Besides what I said above, another side of the problem is that because of the way it is funded, the cost of the Mela is not borne equally across the Borough of Eastleigh.

            Anybody living in a non-parished area (i.e the Town Centre where the event is held), doesn’t have to contribute any more. People living in the Parishes that refuse to contribute don’t pay any more. Chandlers Ford Parish Council, so far as I can make out from looking at the minutes, weren’t even asked to contribute to the Mela this year. I think that’s because they refused ACWA last time…

            But because Hedge End have contributed previously and Town Councillors don’t have the balls to say no when ACWA returns to ask for more money, Hedge End was taken for another £120 this year…

            OK, £120 isn’t much in the overall scheme of things, but I think that £120 could have been better and more appropriately spent in Hedge End…

            • C Gardener
              July 7, 2014 at 9:31 am

              Couldn’t agree more with your comments, Ray. It should be down to individuals to choose to support events by attending. Parish/Town Council funding should only be for projects within that town/parish. Thanks for highlighting this, Ray.

  2. Matthew Myatt
    July 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Hmmm, I would not give much air time to Nadine Forshaw’s little documentary. She is a student at Winchester University studying journalisium, this home video forms part of her show reel. Not very objective, not well researched and quite frankly, very amature in style and presentation.

    As a journalist myself, I have with the Ed of this site, taken sound bites in Eastleigh, and have found the town to be very diverse on its views and beliefs on immigration.

    This clip makes no reference as to why there was a by-election, the scandal of the former MP, who was convicted and sent to prison, the anger by local residents towards the standing Lib Dem council over the location of new house building and general apathy towards main-stream politics.

    No, this is a very cheep attempt to try to brand the town as rascist and uneducated, which Eastleigh is far from and I find it shocking that the general theme of this story was being backed by an academic from Winchester University..!!

    Nadine’s YouTube video is a very poor, uninformed and lacking in any substance.

    We Love You Eastleigh.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      July 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Don’t shoot the messenger Matt! I don’t agree with the suggestion that ‘Eastleigh hates Europe’ because I know it isn’t true – neither do I think Eastleigh is an ‘utterly forgettable’ ‘nowhere town’.

      But uncomfortable though it is – I’m afraid that is what a lot of people think of the place.

      If the video has provoked a reaction and debate then perhaps that’s what it should be doing?

      Yes Nadine Forshaw is a student journalist and not the finished article yet (so you should cut her a bit of slack) but I have a feeling before too long you’ll be seeing her on your TV reporting for Sky News or similar!

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