Gujarat Kite festival starts on emotional note
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat International Kite festival this year started on an emotional note when two dozen foreigner kite flyers, while lighting 25 candles to mark the silver jubilee of the event here last evening, broke down while remembering a late tourism officer who used to receive them.
Holding large candles mounted on bamboo sticks, the foreigner kite flyers, along with their Indian counterparts, gathered at the centre of the festival venue a day before its inauguration on January 14.
Conceived 25 years ago, the festival has now acquired a shape of an event, where besides kite flying, the foreigner kite flyers, throng to meet local residents and shopkeepers, organisers, and their foreign counterparts.
"Besides getting an opportunity to fly kites, this is the place where most of us have developed our friendships. Now after 10 years, I feel we all are part of the family but not professional kite flyers. The Gujarat tourism employee was not merely an organiser. He was part of that family," said Gadis Wydiyati, a woman kite flyer from Singapore, who has been attending the event continuously over more than 10 years.
She said it was the love of the kite flying tradition among Indians, especially Gujaratis, which has kept it alive and attracts kite lovers like her.
"The craze here and promotion by the government is exemplary. As far as I know, it is only in India where you get a holiday to fly kites," Wydiyati added.
While the festival this year has witnessed maximum number of foreigner kite flyers, there are only handful of those who have come for the first time.
If there is Rami-al-Khal, who is arriving from Lebanon for the last five years to participate in the festival, there is also a Swiss couple, Carlo and Pitouzo Franciskas, coming to the festival for the past three years.
And so are the veterans like Derek Kuhn, who claimed that he was associated with the festival since 1993, just four years after the festival was first organised in 1989.
"I can recall that I have come here first way back in 1993. Since then, the event has been developed into a gala affair. Number of participants is increasing every year and so is the involvement of the entire city. Every time here I meet my old friends and new people. Now it`s a unique experience," Kuhn said.
"It`s a great experience to showcase our flying creatures to the citizens who are crazy about kites, especially on the day of festival," Kuhn said.
R A Helmi Ginanti, a female kite flyer from Indonesia, who is here for the fourth time, said she would be staying with her local friends at Ahmedabad for around one week after the festival. While some of her friends are professional kite flyers, others are common Gujarati residents.
"Not only kite flyers from distant lands, this festival also brings people like us closer to indigenous Gujaratis. Apart from kites, this is another beauty of the festival. We relish these relationships as equal as we relish kites here," she added, expressing part of her feelings in a local dialect.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- Couple in Bihar asked to pay Rs 50,000 as 'tax' for inter-caste marriage
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave kills 223 in AP, Telangana, Chandrababu Naidu announces compensation; Delhi records hottest day
- 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' starts on a good note at the Box Office!
- CBSE 12th Result 2015 to be announced on Monday
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Death threat to PM Narendra Modi ahead of Mathura rally sends police into tizzy
- Organisation demands re-examination of AIPMT 2015
- Standoff with LG: Arvind Kejriwal calls emergency session of Delhi Assembly
- Kejriwal completes 100 days in office, AAP says centre 'shadow boxing' over row with LG
- CBSE Class 12th Board Results 2015 to be announced on Monday, May 25
- Online filing of applications for UPSC civil services exam begins
- No alliance with JD-U in Bihar: BJP
- Not just today, Muslims feeling alienated since 1947: Najma Heptulla