The Indo-German Urban Mela at Palace Grounds saw an enthusiastic response from locals and visitors to Bangalore. From innovative and sustainable technology to performances, stilt walkers and clowns – the Mela had it all.
The Indo-German Urban Mela, a 10-day long extravaganza, started its journey in Mumbai before making a stop in Bangalore. It is the centerpiece of the Germany and India 2011-12: Infinite Opportunities’ which was kicked off in September 2011 and has brought forth a succession of cultural programmes over the past few months with a focus on ‘StadRaume – CitySpaces’.
The Mela is celebrating the German-Indian collaborations over the years while looking forward to strengthening ties and forging new partnerships. Interestingly, the Karnataka-Germany connection can be traced back to 1843 when Hermann Mogling, a German missionary considered as the father of Kannada journalism, founded the first Kannada newspaper in Mangalore called ‘Mangalooru Samachar’. Another German missionary Ferdinand Kittel compiled the first English-Kannada dictionary in 1894.
The innovative structures – 15 pavilions in various geometric shapes mimicking gemstones and designed by Markus Heinsdorff – were set against the stately Bangalore Palace.
|Multi-purpose pavilions at the Indo German Urban Mela, Bangalore|
The Deutsche Bank pavilion offered a peek at the projects supported by the bank as well as guest projects which included the Solar Impulse project, a solar powered aircraft and the Windowfarms hydroponic farming system by Britta Riley. The Dream:in project had set up a wishing tree, where you could tie your dream for your city which was later collected by Dreamctachers.
At the Bosch pavilion, there was a display of products for ‘cities of the future’ including a model of an Energy-Plus house while Lapp India offered safe cabling and wiring solutions. A popular stop was the Airbus pavilion which showcased a breathtaking Airbus concept plane and highlighted the current scenario in the aviation industry in an animated film.
|Dream City Wall at the Indo German Urban Mela, Bangalore|
There was a steady stream of families, students and professionals at the Mela. It was non-stop action with seminars, workshops, teaser German classes, storytelling, theatre, film screenings coupled with music performances. There was never a dull moment, not with stilt walkers from Germany and Bornfree Art School who walked and twirled.
|Clowns at the Indo German Urban Mela, Bangalore|
Of course, a visit to any German affair is incomplete without beer and pretzels. There was plenty of that and a choice of Indian cuisine to be had at the Beergarden. A curtain raiser to the Oktoberfest by musicians from the Bavarian Reisbacher Musikanten brass band was scheduled on Jun 27.
The Mela closed on July 1 in Bangalore but will continue to travel to Chennai, Delhi and Pune.
By Anuradha Prasad/ Raintree Media Features/ www.raintreemedia.com
Read the story on the Goa Herald: