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Auf Wiedersehen Pune, says the Indo-German Urban Mela!

Auf Wiedersehen… The iconic 10-day Indo-German Urban Mela bid adieu to Pune this evening with a string of interesting events and workshops. The Urban Mela, a unique blend of technology, science, culture and entertainment, which was a part of the 60 years celebration of Indo-German diplomatic ties was a huge success in Pune with over 1,50,000 visitors visiting various corporate pavilions and enjoying several cultural events and workshops.  

The last day of the Urban Mela saw a mix of interesting activities, events, performances and workshops such as the music of the Triple Trouble Trio, Toys from Trash, Germany Quiz, Hip-Hop workshop, Warli Painting and the interesting public talks by the University of Gottingen. 

The Indo-German Urban Mela was officially inaugurated at a ceremony on Saturday 12th January, 2013 in the presence of Mr. Hans-Joachim Otto, Parliamentary State Secretary from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Mr. Michael Siebert, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany and noted Bollywood actress and celebrity Ms. Bipasha Basu. Saturday, 19th January 2013, was the busiest evening at the Urban Mela during the Indian Ocean Concert, which saw an ocean of visitors. This raised some security concerns and for the safety of Punekars, a decision was taken by the organizers to cancel The Karsh Kale Collectiv Concert. The various other activities planned went as per schedule till 6:00pm. 

Speaking on the occasion of the finale of the Mela, Ketaki Golatkar, Senior Project Manager – Communications, "Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities" said, “The last 15 months saw various socio-cultural activities partnered with German Institution all over India. Pune was a milestone as far as the Indo-German Urban Mela is concerned. We have seen a total of 5,00,000 visitors at the Mela throughout the 5 cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Pune. However, the response from Pune was a fitting grand finale to the entire project and this has certainly borne fruit. The theme of ‘City Spaces’ proved to be very engaging for the Puneites and we are confident that this long-standing association between the two countries will continue across various sectors in the future.” 

The various gem-shaped pavilions and the interesting presentations were key highlights at the event. The NILS concept car from Volkswagen was one of the star attractions, while school children were attracted towards the Chemistry Lab and simple chemistry exhibitions at BASF’s Kids Lab along with the City Simulation Game presented by Siemens. The pavilion by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) was a huge draw for students and young professionals to gauge the state-of-art and innovative technology for sustainable cities from German industry, academia and research. 

Workshops such as ‘Toys from Trash’, Hip-hop, Creative Bags, Theatre by Vibhawari Deshpande were a big draw for both children and adults along with the Warli Painting workshop that brought out the budding artists from the city. 

The cultural evenings and concerts such as the unique presentation by Midival Punditz, India’s favourite electronica Djane Ma Faiza jamming with violinist Manoj George, a classical treat for the music lovers in the city with distinguished artists like Amaan Ali Khan on sarod and Ronu Majumdar with his renditions on the flute, Pune’s very own rock band Agnee, the colourful and soulful Raghu Dixit Project along with the pioneers of fusion rock music, Indian Ocean were a huge draw each evening at the Mela.

Social Media including Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Online contests and such other platforms were used extensively and proved to be beneficial in attracting visitors to the Mela. The Facebook page “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities” saw extensive fan interactions and user generated content such as videos, photographs, photo-galleries, thereby engaging them and getting more visitors to the mela. Supported by an offline branding exercise, the entire project campaign on social media has become a case study on its own owing to the more than 46,000 fans following the campaign on Facebook alone and talking about the various events on several online platforms.