Mela 2005 Visitors
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Wednesday, 02 August 2006
200,000 visitors at Mela 2005
Oslo Mela 2005 visitors. Khalid Salimi. The ratio of ethnic Norwegians to immigrantsOslo Mela 2005 surpassed all expectations with an estimated 200,000 visitors at City Hall Square during the three festival days. Khalid Salimi, Executive Director of Horizon Foundation, says the ratio of ethnic Norwegians to immigrants seems to be o­n a steady rise from year to year.
200,000 visitors at Mela 2005
Oslo Mela 2005 visitors. Khalid Salimi. The ratio of ethnic Norwegians to immigrantsOslo Mela 2005 surpassed all expectations with an estimated 200,000 visitors at City Hall Square during the three festival days. Khalid Salimi, Executive Director of Horizon Foundation, says the ratio of ethnic Norwegians to immigrants seems to be o­n a steady rise from year to year.

The festival comprised music from many countries, for instance Ethiopian ”Queen of Soul” Aster Aweke, Somali artist Maryam Mursal with the international group ”Women´s Voice”, Pakistani pop stars Atif Aslam, Tariq Khan and Najam Sheraz, Bollywood Brass Band from London and international reggae star Apache Indian. This year there were as many as 25 food stalls selling specialities from a great number of countries.

Among the more daring projects was a cooperation between the Pakistani Qawwali ensemble Sher Miandad Khan Qawwal and Spanish-Norwegian Flamenco artist Corinne Campos. Sher Miandad also performed at Mela 2004. At that time he cooperated in concert with the Norwegian experimental group ”Transjoik” and demonstrated a rare understanding of both classical qawwali and modern forms of music. The cooperation with Corinne Campos is, as far as we know, the first time ever that traditional Sufi music has been combined with Spanish Flamenco and was a huge success among the public.

The organizers of Mela also try to invite as many Norwegian artists with a minority background as possible. Thus, there were Afro-Norwegian singers performing with a famous blues guitarist, percussionists with a variety of ethnic backgrounds playing together, Norwegian youths with minority backgrounds showing their abilities as actors and dancers and so o­n. Altogether more that 200 artists performed during Oslo Mela 2005. 

The festival opened at City Hall o­n Friday 19th August with His Majesty King Harald V of Norway present, together with ambassadors and notables from many countries. Media coverage was extensive and very positive.

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 August 2006 )