Thousands celebrate Global Mela’s 10th Anniversary
Global Mela marked its 10th Anniversary on Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9, 2011, attracting over 15,000 community members. The mammoth Mela, which has become the largest free carnival event for the South Asian community in the Southeast, was graced by the presence of Chief Guest, City of Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson and Georgia Senator Curt Thompson (Democrat, Dist. 5). Both dignitaries, accompanied by Global Mall owner and hosts Shiv Aggarwal and his family, cheerfully intermingled with the Mela visitors and went around admiring various booths inside the Mall. After emcee Kiran Sethi welcomed all, Acharya Pandit Ved Joshi performed Lord Ganesh pooja ceremony, chanting shlokas to invoke God’s blessings.
In his brief remarks the Mayor noted, “Shiv (Aggarwal) is instrumental in organizing not only this Fair but as Chairman of C.I.D. (Community Improvement District) is helping us with a number of initiatives aimed at improving resident’s quality of life in this area. A lot of interchanges have been improved. A new bridge will be coming on Jimmy Carter Boulevard. Beautification and streetscaping will attract more residents as well as tourists in the area. I wish to thank Shiv and his staff for organizing this international event which brings together diverse members of the community to absorb and enjoy the rich culture and heritage of India. My best wishes to you all.”
A section of the parking lot was festooned with balloons. Outside, near the Mall entrance, children had plenty of fun on the giant Gladiator, Spiderman and Speed Pitch inflatables, and free pony rides! Inside, Ashiana and Global Groceries did a brisk business serving pani-puri, samosas, chat, etc. Visitors were greeted by Shiv’s family, Global Mall staff and volunteers. Harvadan Chokshi and Priya manned the raffles desk, and gave out numerous prizes every hour, and on Sunday evening mega prizes of a flat-screen TV, a beautiful Saree, and other prizes donated by Global Mall; Ladlee Clothing Boutique, and Legacy Jewels respectively. Global Mall and Legacy Jewels had sponsored free popcorn, snowcones, cotton candy, and fun activities like face painting, balloon artistry, drawing and art work. Ruby Beauty Salon had free mehndi. DJ Bobby and Joe heightened the Mela ambience with throbbing, pulsating music and latest Bollywood chartbusters! Booth vendors selling Indian apparel, jewelry, toys, arts and handicrafts, and services like travel, insurance, education, health and medicine, and nonprofits like Ekal Vidyalaya, Art of Living Foundation, Radha Madhav Society, Gaudiya Vaishnava Association, etc., remained busy dealing with the throngs of visitors.
The cultural show included a devotional group from Hare Rama Hare Krishna; Absolute Fitness; Academy of Kuchipudi Dance, Nritya Natya Kala Bharti, Prem’s Studio of Performing Arts, and Swarnad School of Music, to name a few. The young and talented students of Nritya Natya Kala Bharti who performed a variety of dance and music items were the dazzling highlight of the Global Mela! Performing on both days, they danced to the popular “Aaja Nachle,” while the senior group danced to “Lagi Lagi Milan Dhun Lagi.” They also got repeated applause for performances to songs “Chale Jaise Hawaein,” “Main Albeli,” and a cool energetic boys Bollywood dance medley starting out with “Dhinka Chika.” The NNKB music students also gave singing and keyboard performances: Very young artists performed “Suhana Safar” and “Kahin Door Jab” on keyboard, and vocal group wowed the audience with an “Om Shanti Om” medley and Bollywood hits. Zoomba dance and Judo were also big treats.
Shiv Aggarwal noted, “Global Mela is our way of thanking the community for supporting Global Mall and our Indian cultural center. It is my passion, my vision and my goal to make everyone aware of our rich Indian Culture and heritage through such Melas.” He thanked all participants, sponsors, volunteers, media, Global Mall staff, Mayoor Patel and Lynn Rich for running the Mela, and his family.
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https://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=49050351295 (Photography by Vinod)
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