Belfast Telegraph

Little Bollywood comes to Belfast as Mela puts on a special show for the kids

By Rebecca Black

Babies and young children will be introduced to the bright colours and sounds of Bollywood - and even a spot of yoga - in a Belfast park this weekend.

For the first time Belfast Mela will include a Little Bollywood feature designed to offer a fun family experience with a cultural twist.

The South Asian Dance Academy (SADA) will be leading the fun in costumes showcasing their intricate moves in a specially decorated marquee in Botanic Gardens on Sunday afternoon.

Youngsters will be able to dress up and dance, with a DJ providing music.

The concept is the brainchild of Mela founder Nisha Tandon.

She was inspired to provide something specifically for babies and young children at the annual cultural event.

"We have been doing more for children in recent years at the event so that was built upon to create Little Bollywood," she said.

"This was also a great way to bring something that is as popular as Bollywood both in India and across the world into Mela.

"We wanted something for the very smallest children and the babies who come along with their families.

"There is such a demand for our South Asian dancers, so this was also a great way to incorporate them into something new."

Nisha said the concept developed with input from all the organising team and will include opportunities to dress up, experience Indian music and even introduce young children to yoga.

"It has been a collaborative effort from all the ArtsEkta team, everyone had their own ideas for how we could do this," she added.

The Little Bollywood feature will include three sessions aimed for different ages.

There will be Baby Bumpkin for tots up to 18 months old from 1.30-2pm; Tatty Bumpkin for children aged from 18 months to 5 years from 2.30-3pm, and the Family Multi-Sensory Yoga for children aged up to five years from 3.30-4pm.

Entry for these facilitated sessions is subject to capacity.

There will also be a Glam Your Pram workshop, where all the family can enjoy decorating their baby's pram with the help of artists from Belfast's Replay Theatre Company and hear about the world's first Baby Day, due to take place next month.

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 take place in Botanic Gardens on Sunday from noon-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.

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