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23 March 2009

Kite Flying – A World Wide Activity

By Chandan

A recent email from a close kite flyer friend of mine made me realize how small the world has become with modern travel and communication systems.

It is possible to use our computers to learn about events all over the world in real time. Television’s video magic makes us feel as though we are at events as they happen. Streaming video and sites like YouTube allow us to experience what is going on no matter where it is happening. The ease of travel can take you from your home to the other side of the world in less than a day

Held at the end of the second week in February each year, the Pasir Gudang kite festival is known around the world as an intersection point for kiters from around the world. At this festival, kite fliers from Europe, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada will mingle with kiters flying traditional Malaysian “wau” kites. It is indeed a blend of all the best the world has to offer in a variety of kites defined by visitors from different global locales.

The Pasir Gudang Kite Museum is located here, on top of Kite Hill. It is the first kite museum in Malaysia and has a unique working windmill that generates enough electricity to supply the daily needs of the museum. What could be more appropriate for a kite museum than to use the wind to provide green energy.

Nor is this the only kite festival to take place in Malaysia. Malacca, the third smallest Malaysian state, located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca also recently hosted a major international kite festival. The Star Online in Malacca reported that “about 200 kite enthusiasts from all over the country gathered at the Dataran Pahlawan field in Bandar Hilir, Malacca, to take part in the Third Malaysia-China 2009 Kite Flying Festival recently”. The festival was also attended by European flyers from as far away as Finland.

This is not the only location where kiting is flourishing in the large global community.

Recent news reports from around the world cited major kiting activity in every corner of the world.

India and Pakistan: recent reports of the major kite flying activity that is associated with the celebration of Utterayan and Makhar Sankranti (India) and Basant (Pakistan) have been streaming steadily from news agencies in the Asian sub-continent.

¡India:


“May it be Republic Day or Independence Day or Makar Sakranti or Janamashtami, more and more people in north India are taking to kite flying on such days. In a way, kite flying is becoming a festival by itself. The Indian festival of Makar Sakranti is devoted to kite flying and fighting in some states. This year the festival was celebrated on January 14, with millions of people flying kites all over northern India.

The states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, and some part of West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and the cities of Ahemdabad, Baroda, Jaipur, Dhanbad and Hyderabad are particularly notable for their kite fighting festivals.”