December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Sadly, no sooner has Mandela been buried than the  feuds in his immediate family boil over again. For a man of peace he must have had a most uncomfortable time trying to deal with his own nearest and dearest.

Now they have to manage their grievances themselves, publicly and in a world spotlight.

But that’s not a new thing. More than 250 years ago Robert Burns, our national poet, observed the difficulties in seeing ourselves as ‘ithers see us.’

And with the spotlight on Scotland in the long run-up to the Referendum, citizens here will have to find a way to ‘see ourselves’ more clearly.

To date, a lot of knee-jerk reaction seems to have been acceptable. One says Yes! The other says No! With each trotting out glib sound bites with little substance.  Surely we can rise about such arrogant behaviour which simply communications the attitude:  ‘I’m right because I say so. Therefore I won’t listen to you.’

Some listening, some searching for evidence to support one’s own contentions, some genuine evaluation of opposing opinions to find the truth, would serve us all well. It would be a shame – and would bring shame to us all – if we cannot find a more intelligent and peaceful way to come to a collective, acceptable solution to the anxieties of the present.




August 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Wellington Church, University Avenue G12


 Saturday 31 August

                    7.30pm – 10pm   

                    genuine SCOTTISH CEILIDH


 £6 per adult or £10 per family

follow the lights from University Avenue, G12 from the front of Wellington Church up and round to the CRYPT CAFE door at the right hand side of the building.

 Everyone is welcome

Please respect Wellington Church’s NO ALCOHOL policy.

Light supper provided

Family fun

Organised by Wellington Church INTERNATIONAL WELCOME CLUB

Mela’s rich mix pleases the crowd

June 16, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Samba Ya Bamba wowed the crowd on the Commonwealth Stage

A record-breaking crowd of 35,000 people had a beautiful Bhangra of a weekend at the 02 Glasgow Mela in Kelvingrove Park.

While Saturday 15 June had some rain – it wasn’t as much as last year – the crowds didn’t mind and kept on coming to the Asian family festival. Sunday was sunny and warm.  People relaxed with music on three stages. Browsed at stalls selling lots of things from exotic clothes to iced yoghurt on a stick. And took the chance to meet up with friends and family.

Coming out of the rich heritage of Glasgow’s Asian communities, the Mela is truly a multi cultural event now in its 23rd year. It offered uplifting music, awesome dance routines and interactive street performance.

Bhangra singing sensation Sona Walia delighted fans of modern Bollywood and RnB/pop as well as devotees of traditional Punjabi and Gujarati style. She is one of the hottest female talents on the Asian music scene.

The legendary Johnny Kalsi and his band The Dhol Foundation regularly headline at major events and festivals such as WOMAD. They performed at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. After coming off the Glasgow Mela stage he said: “That was a blast. This is my first ever Mela and I’m glad it was in Glasgow. There were people dancing everywhere you looked. I loved it. I hear the Mela is going to be even bigger next year as you celebrate 2014. We’d love to come back and perform again then.’ He stayed to take in the action in the park and to try some of the food.

On Saturday the multi-talented singer songwriter and musician Foji Gill electrified the crowds with his unique brand of Punjabi folk and traditional music, which was fused with an exciting urban sound. From classic hits Bruah and Bondhl-Gai to dance floor smash Dafa Hoja, Foji delighted fans old and new with his renowned singing style.

Punjabi No 1 were a flourish of colour on the World Stage

International dance acts added colour and energy to the proceedings. The Electricat Dance Troupe amazed with their display of Brazilian dances. The Afro-Latino influences delivered a contemporary and powerful style. This truly spectacular extravaganza of pulsating rhythms, sinuous movements and colourful feathers and sequins really impressed the audiences.

The Kennedy Cupcakes offered an alternative dance show when they performed showstopping routines to 40’s and 50’s hits such as ‘Boogie Woogie Boy’ and ‘In the Mood’. They added a touch of vintage style to the proceedings and had the audience eating out of their hands.

And they got to watch the other acts too!

Councillor Soryia Siddique, Chair of the O2 Glasgow Mela steering group, said: “The O2 Glasgow Mela continues to be the brightest and best festival to showcase Scotland’s multi-cultural talents. The park was awash with colour and pulsating to the incredible beats that emanated from all three stages. Like them, I had a great time.”

Gosia Manka, Channel Marketing Manager at O2 said: “We are delighted to be at the O2 Glasgow Mela again this year. We hope the many attendees had a great time.”

For youngsters, the Forestry Commission Scotland ran a first-class Kids’  Zone. Programmed by Glasgow based artists Nikki Pardasani and Maryam Imran, the children’s area offered a wealth of woodland themed activities to tempt little ones to get creative in the park. Romena Huq, from Forestry Commission Scotland, said: “We were really happy to sponsor the Kids’ Zone again this year and hope that the many families who visited it enjoyed the activities and learnt a bit about local wildlife and woodland in the process.”

A number of street performers amazed young and old alike, including the Jaipur Kawa Circus from India, Spinal Chord, Conflux and the SonaSonas Gaelic Street Theatre.

Regular local favourites, The Desi Bravehearts,  gave a great performance which stretched traditional style into brave new worlds.

Ever popular Desi Bravehearts were resplendent in gold and scarlet and gave a 24 carat performance to match.

Dr Zenab Ali with her mother and her two children were among the thousands of families who enjoyed the Mela in style.

Said Dr Zenab Ali, who with her family enjoyed the Mela in style: ‘We come every year. It is a wonderful festival.’





February 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This year St Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year almost coincided.  So it’s a good time to start afresh and say ‘I love you.’

Sometimes you have to say that to yourself.  After all, if you don’t love YOU, who can you love?

Not being afraid or shy to show you care is a good trait to cultivate. Doing a little every day to make the world a lovelier place is something to be proud of.  If it is so difficult, sometimes, to give love and respect to someone within your family or friendship circles, how much more difficult is it to love someone who has done you a bad turn?

That’s maybe where we need to concentrate more effort – by turning the other cheek and looking at someone through the eyes of love – we might avoid a lot of the conflict raging around us.

Support extended to families of drug users

August 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Story: Erik Geddes
Picture: Stuart Maxwell




The families in a Glasgow area ravaged by drugs have been given the chance to come together and help overcome hurdles together.

Drumchapel Community Centre was the venue for the Scottish Families Affected by Drugs hosted open day on Tuesday 3 August.

The turn-out of affected family members was more a trickle than a torrent, but the event marks a stepping-stone towards a more joined-up approach in supporting and helping families.

The LOCAL NEWS spoke with two sisters, originally from Drumchapel, who

dropped in to the Centre keen to do volunteer work.

Janet said: ‘Days like this are important for people who want to help themselves and get healthy so they can better their lives.

‘You don’t see people taking drugs in front of you but it is easy to recognise the scale of the problem when you walk through Drumchapel shopping centre. You see heads hanging down and hear people shouting abuse.’

Margaret added: ‘Taking drugs isolates people and makes them paranoid. ‘Coming here and getting involved will slowly but surely help them get back to some sort of normality.

‘I want to let my daughter out to play, but at the moment, it’s not safe.’

As well as volunteering opportunities and advice stalls there was a team of therapists offering free massage and reiki. These therapies offer a stress-busting opportunity for mums, dads, brothers and sisters who dedicate much of their energies to a loved one.

Cara MacDowall, Chief Executive of Scottish Families Affected by Drugs is hopeful that more families will now come forward in the Drumchapel area.

She said: ‘Families are often overlooked in drug treatment but are sometimes the only constant and solid factor in the usually chaotic life of the user.

‘Families also need support as there is a lot of pressure and stress when you have a loved one with an addiction.

‘Our organisation is there to provide support and also to say to government that there is a significant role for families in the rehabilitation process.’

If you have someone in your family affected by drugs and would be keen to find out about support groups, befriending or just confidential advice then please contact Lisa Finlayson Development Officer at Scottish Families Affected by Drugs 0141 221 0544 or Marlene Taylor at Families Affected by Drug & Alcohol use on 0141 420 2050.