Celebrating two cultures

Urban Mela
Last Updated 19 June 2012, 12:45 IST

The City has always been open to new cultures and innovative concepts. Starting June 22, the City is all set to host the ‘Indo-German Urban Mela’ at the Palace Grounds.

This is an authentic European fair that will blend technology, science, art and culture from both India and Germany, making this an ideal cocktail of an Indian mela and a German carnival.

This urban extravaganza is part of the celebrations titled, ‘Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities’ that commemorate 60 years of
the establishment of Indian-German diplomatic ties.

Renowned installation artist and designer, Markus Heinsdorff, is the man behind the entire set-up at the mela. Themed ‘StadtRaume – CitySpaces’, the fair will focus upon the effects of rapid urbanisation and the challenges of change in Indian and German cities today.

Aimed at attracting the youth, the mela will see a host of events covering all aspects of two cultures. Ingo Karsten, consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bangalore, said, “This mela is a celebration of 60 years of diplomatic relations of India and Germany and we want to strengthen this partnership. Germans have always been interested about India and its culture.

But what we noticed is that the youngsters of today from both countries don’t know much about one and other. Which is why we have tried to bring in events that will attract the youth and give them a chance to know each other.”

Some of the highlight events will be heavy metal acts from Arkadius, a German vocalist and Kryptos, a popular Indian band.

There will also be a break-dance workshop by Niels Storm, a dance act by Samir Akika and Attakalari. The mela will also provide a forum for youngsters to express themselves in ‘Poetry Slam’, which is a competitive modern art of performance poetry.

Apart from this, the mela will see a ‘Youth University’, which is a unique interactive forum for school and college students to mingle with researchers, scientists and CEOs of large corporations.

Speaking about the cultural part of the event, Christoph Bertrams, the director of Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, said, “The ‘mela’ is not about what Germany has to offer but about bringing two cultures together and celebrate that. We aim to make it both visually and culturally rich.”

Visitors can feast upon German delicacies and drinks at the ‘Beergarden’, which in Germany is supposed to be an important social place for friends and families to interact.  There will also be an evening dedicated to football called the ‘Football Fever’.

The exhibition started off in Mumbai and after Bangalore will move onto Chennai, Delhi and Pune. Entry to all the events are free.

(Published 19 June 2012, 12:44 IST)

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