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Belfast Mela 2015: Botanic Gardens will march to the beat of a different drum

By Rebecca Black

Drumming will be the focus in a Belfast park tomorrow, but not as we know it.

Far from the familiar sound of Lambegs, it will be Indian Dhol drums played by a local group who recently received training and an internationally regarded ensemble, the Dhol Foundation.

This fusion of east and west will be one of the highlights of this year's Belfast Mela, which takes place in Botanic Gardens tomorrow afternoon.

A 16ft puppet Dhol 'doll' will lead the Mela parade starting at 12.30pm around the park followed by drummers bringing the distinctive sound to the festivities. Dhol drumming will also be performed on the main stage at the event.

Mela's Krishan Tandon said organisers ArtsEkta had been working over the last few months to bring specialist trainers to teach a group of locals the Dhol drums.

He said they had been very enthusiastic about the Indian instruments and were excited to have the chance to perform on them.

There will be another chance to hear Dhol drums later this year ar ArtsEkta's Nine Nights celebration in Belfast city centre on October 24.

Belfast Mela attracted more than 25,000 visitors last year and aims to welcome even more this year to enjoy the parade, music, costumes, dance performances, arts, crafts, global souk and the diverse world food market.

The event will run from noon until 6pm.

A ticket on the day is £5 for adults with family and concession rates available. Tickets can be purchased for a discounted price online. For more information log on to http://2015.belfastmela.org.uk/home.

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