Jonathan Fryer

A Baishakhi Mela

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 23rd May, 2010

This afternoon I joined many thousands of my Bengali neighbours at the annual A Baishakhi Mela in Weavers Fields, Bethnal Green. I missed the parade in Brick Lane but the Fields and adjacent Allen Gardens were a swirling mass of┬ápeople listening or dancing to various groups brought over from Bangladesh or based locally, a mini-funfair and dozens of stalls of various kinds. Negotiating the prams and crowds of excited chidren was at times a challenge. I stopped for a while at the Tower Hamlets Council’s stand for encouraging recycling and thought that they could probably start by recycling the huge numbers of restaurant flyers and other glossy leaflets that were being handed out to people as they flooded in to the event, only to be cast to the ground a few yards further on. Several of the neighbourhood’s Koolest Kids were out strutting their stuff, many in headbands based on the design of the Bangladesh flag (a red spot on a dark green background). Saggies seemed to be the order of the day for weekending schoolboys. It would have been fun to witness some of them running into their schoolteachers.

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