Thousands flock to annual Sikh Mela
Activities galore as communities unite in Huddersfield
Over 2,500 people from all faiths and backgrounds headed down to Yorkshire Lions’ Warrenside base in Deighton last weekend as the annual Sikh Mela returned for the seventh year running.
Staged every summer, the highly-anticipated event is completely free to the public and unites communities through a wide range of events on offer.
This year’s schedule saw singers takeover the stage, whilst entertainment was provided elsewhere via the SWAT team activity, birds of prey demonstrations, a strong man competition, traditional Sikh sword fighting – known as ‘Gatka’ – and a presentation by Muay-Thai boxing.
A sports day inspired event was also held alongside the main festival for the first time in the mela’s history as children competed for the crown in a number of competitions.
Kalvinder Singh is one of the group organisers and helped oversee the day’s activities.
Praising the friendly atmosphere and community feel, generated by the mela, he explained why the volunteers went to such lengths to ensure the mela returns year after year.
“The main reason behind the event is to bring communities and families together,” he said.
“We are really trying to instil integration between communities and raise an awareness of our culture.
“On top of that we also had a children’s sports day. That brought together the different generations and was really well responded to.
“It’s a fun day where everybody comes together and just enjoys themselves.”
Amongst the guests on the day were the Mayor and Mayoress of Kirklees, as well as members of the British Legion.
“To have around 2,500 to 3,000 people come down on the day means the event is one of our most successful to date,” Kalvinder added.
“We will continue to hold the mela every year as we bring communities together and show what religion should really be about.”