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Shopping, Food & Fun Attract Many To Global Mela

June 2004
Shopping, Food & Fun Attract Many To Global Mela

Shopping, Food & Fun Attract Many To Global Mela

Around 7000 people visited the Global Mall in Norcross for a weekend of fun, shopping and festivities during May 7, 8 and 9. The Globa Mela, a three-day cultural fiesta was hosted by American Management Services (of Global Mall) and supported by United Cultures Inc.

Although the festivities began on Friday evening, the fair was formally declared open with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, by Gwinnett County Commissioner Bert Nasuti.

The fair began with a slow trickle of people on Friday, but gained momentum on Saturday and Sunday. Around 25 vendors, both local as well as out-of-town, participated in the fair. The festivities also included two evenings of Raas Garba by Mumbai-based group Beat 16, a kids carnival, a cultural program, a musical Antakshari and more. There was also yoga and meditation sessions, and exhibits from various community organizations.

The mela paid tribute to all mothers during Mother's Day, with a special luncheon. Around 70 mothers also participated in a special sermon at the Shiv Mandir.

Most of the public was seen thronging the shopping area, where saris, jewelry, DVDs etc were sold at a past pace. The food court was also filled to capacity throughout.

Kids and their parents could also be seen surrounding the lady clown who handed out free balloons, popcorn and cotton candy throughout the weekend. Apart from rides and games, the carnival also included a free magic show, much to the delight of both little ones and adults alike.

"The mela is a community venture," asserted Shiv Aggarwal of Global Mela. He said, the Saturday performance of the Beat 16 group was also free of charge for the public.

Aggarwal promised that the mela tradition would continue. "The next mela will be during Diwal, when we try to get more community organizations involved," he said.

Kirit Udeshi of United Cultures said the turnout had far exceeded his expectations, this being the first mela in Atlanta. United Cultures is holding such melas in several cities of the US through the spring/summer. "We usually hold the mela in open grounds, spanning at least 50,000 sq ft. In that respect, the Global Mela was different," he added.

Mihir Patel of United Cultures and Mila Shah of AMS were responsible for most of the groundwork and coordination for the event. Local promoter Mustafa Ajmeri, who was instrumental in getting the Global Mall and United Cultures together, also participated in the effort.

-Veena Rao

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