Flying start for Delhi’s kite festival

November 12th, 2011 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) It made for a perfect weekend Saturday as hundreds of multi-coloured kites dotted the clear blue sky at the sprawling India Gate lawns at Delhi’s first kite festival.

The two-day festival, inaugurated by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, saw participation from six states. Around 30 teams - of amateur and professional kite enthusiasts - took part in the festival organised by Delhi Tourism.

While kitists said they had a lot to experiment with the shape, size and material of the kite, Delhiites got an opportunity to see professional fliers in action.

“They (professional kite fliers) have got such beautiful and huge kites that it’s a delight to watch them. We are getting to know a lot of tips on kite flying and cutting from them,” Prateek Girotra, a Class 10 student who had come with his parents, told IANS.

Dikshit said that the festival would now be an annual feature during this time of the year as the weather remained pleasant.

The participating teams were from Chennai, Jodhpur, Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chandigarh and Gujarat. Decorative kites were also on display.

Asghar Belim, who is a proud collector of over 300 kites, said: “It is good that Delhi has also joined the list of kite-enthusiast states. I hope this festival pulls back people to the lost world of kite flying.”

Belim has been partcipating in the Gujarat international kite festival.

The flier brought to Delhi his unique collection of folk culture kites that depict Jodhpur’s traditional Maharaja marriages on kites.

“Kites are not just about a sheet of paper flying high in the sky through a thread. If you understand their language, a kite can convey the messages of tradition, culture and even religion,” Belim told IANS.

Chennai’s Sunder Moorthy, 32, a kite enthusiast who works with a petroleum refinery, agreed: “A kite is about thoughts, creativity and imagination. I hope, Delhi sees more teams next year.”

Moorthy has also put on display his famous ‘Delta’ kite, imported from Texas in the US for Rs.12,000.

The kitists said they would try to bring to Delhi all that the kite festivals of Gujarat and Rajasthan have to offer.

On of them also had a piece of advice for organisers. “All that the country’s kite festivals are missing is the ban on Chinese manja (string). That is fatal. Otherwise we are now seeing experiments with all kinds of designs and materials - like nylon and acrylic work on kites - and even shapes,” Belim added.

The festival also offers food stalls, puppet shows, a 100-kite string, kite cutting competition and cultural shows.

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