Camden Mela 2015 – A Festival of Unity
Sunday 26th July 2015, 12 – 6pm
Coram Fields, 93 Guilford Street WC1N 1DN
Damp but not dejected!
Now what you need for an outdoor event like the Camden Mela 2015 is a nice summery sunny day….Sunday dawned cloudy, cold & pouring with rain. The fifteen minute walk from Euston saw me turn up at Coram’s Fields with wet hair plastered to my forehead & breaking out kitchen towel in order to mop up the stall. I set out Sunflowers in the hopes of bringing out the sunshine but although the downpours calmed down, the drizzle & damp continued all day – but we did not let it drown our spirits! Sadly though the Festival parade did fall foul of the famous British Summer & numbers were down on last year’s packed event. Still, I was impressed that so many braved the wind & rain huddled in coats & hats to enjoy the festivities.
Unfortunately the cold & rain also affected the usual steady stream of massages that I am used to at events. Given the weather I quite understood that massage was not as popular as on a day when people like nothing more than a unwinding with a massage in the hot sunshine. Even so I did have some new clients still keen to have arm & hand, Indian head, neck & shoulders – & even leg massage!
What is more, I learned an entirely new skillset – that of massaging ladies wearing hijabs, burqas & abayas whilst still maintaining complete modesty. It takes quite something to manage Indian head massage through a headscarf!
It was wonderful to meet so many people of different cultures & faiths who were all so keen to join in, share stories & ask questions. I chatted to an 80-year-old lady who makes all her own herbal remedies passed down from her mother, & found that we had lots in common. She has used ginger & nutmeg to treat her Rheumatoid Arthritis successfully for years – essential oils that aromatherapists also use to great effect.
I was also approached by two lovely, friendly young women from the Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre. This is a local community organisation ‘enabling the Asian community living in and around Camden to actively participate in society & achieve their aspirations.’ Hopscotch AWC provides support services for Asian women and their families on a wide range of issues including domestic violence, employment, housing and welfare benefits’. They asked if I could offer massage taster sessions at a health awareness event later in August (here’s hoping to better weather!) – so watch this space….
My lovely & friendly neighbour Sharon from the NHS Margaret Pyke Centre in King’s Cross who kept me smiling & laughing throughout the day. The centre offers a range of free NHS contraception, sexual health services, advice & support, particularly for young people.
The stall that was my personal favourite could have so easily been the various cake & food stands – do check out Salaam Namaste restaurant in nearby Russell Square for delicious poori, samosas & Tandoori dishes. However, the winner for me had to be the stall run by the two Inaz sisters offering Henna tattoos. These talented ladies make their designs up on the spot & added glitter to great effect – I absolutely love my temporary tattoo & it’s a great reminder of a brilliant community event.