Mini Mela 17-03-2017

SBMEN held a Mini Mela at Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre on Friday 17th March 2017 in support of the Sunderland City of Culture 2021 bid. There were 21 performers on stage and 21 tweets were sent out live during the event celebrating the performances/appearances.

Our host for the night was the Chair of Sunderland BME Network Mr. Kumareswaradas Ramanathas (Ram).

To start the evening off he invited our guest speakers to say a few words.

The Speakers

The very first speaker was Deputy Mayoress Doris MacKnight of Sunderland City Council who officially opened the event to a packed hall at Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre.

The second speaker was Rebecca Ball, Director of the Sunderland 2021 Bid, who gave an enthusiastic speech about the rich history of culture in Sunderland beginning with Venerable Bede 1,300 years ago.

Our third speaker was Kam Chera, owner of the Funky Indian Tapas restaurant, who gave an impassioned speech about how the area is enriched my many different cultures who bring life and vigour to the well being of Sunderland.



After the speakers Ram called to the front of the stage all SBMEN Management Committee members to thank them for contributing to the evening.

From left to right they are: Abu Shama Sunderland Bangladesh of International Centre,  Zafer Iqbal of Pakistani Islamic Community Centre, Sandra Watt of Friends of the Drop In Centre and Michal Chantkowski of International Community Organisation of Sunderland.


The Performers

After the opening speeches the performances began. Each performance reflected the wide diversity of the community and the many types of talent in our area.

Please browse the gallery of performances below – to see an image full screen just click on it.



After the performances flowers were presented to our VIP guests.

Kam Chera can be seen pictured right with Shahzana Aslam of Young Asian Voices, receiving his flowers and supporting the Sunderland 2021 bid with a special photo frame.






Rebecca Ball also appeared behind the Sunderland 2021 bid photo frame after receiving her flowers.

Rebecca is also pictured with Shahzana Aslam.




After the flowers were presented everyone enjoyed some more music and tasted some fine foods and refreshments.


The Funders

Sunderland BME Network would like to thank once again the tremendous support of Gentoo Group, Sunderland 2021 and The Funky Indian restaurant who generously contributed towards the evening.


A special thank you goes out to everyone involved in this evening. The following is a presentation that was projected onto a large screen throughout the evening thanking our sponsors and all those involved in making this the wonderful evening that it was.


Our thanks also to the Deputy Mayoress Doris MacKnight and her husband Keith for helping to make this such a wonderful evening.








Nationalities Involved

Demonstrating how Sunderland is a changing city the following nationalities were involved in our event (in alphabetical order).

South African
Sri Lankan

Read More…

The Sunderland BME Network Mini Mela was also reported on in the media. You can read an article published in the Sunderland Echo by following this link (opens in a new window).