When hues of yellows, greens dot the sky

DUBAI - Thousands of colourful kites dotted the sky as the popular kite-flying festival kick-started yesterday evening (13.3) at Sonapur area in Dubai.



by

Asma Ali Zain

Published: Thu 13 Mar 2008, 11:43 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:44 PM

People from all walks of life gathered together to celebrate the onset of spring (Basant), which traditionally in Pakistan, is celebrated through hues of yellows and greens.

On this particular occasion that the community looks forward to each year, kites of all colours and sizes are imported from Pakistan, along with dor (thread) specially treated with crushed glass. And in the UAE, the Kite Club has organised this festival, gathering together hundreds of people.

"Like each year, this year too, two days have been allocated for the celebrations. We fly kites all night long and the next day," explained Mohammed Amin, head of the Kite Club.

"Kites and dor (strings) have already been brought in from Pakistan. And the range is from Dh2 (small kite) to over Dh100 for decorated and bigger kites," he pointed outexplained.

Visitors can buy and try their hand at kite-flying at the venue. “I look forward to this day every year because it reminds me of home in Lahore which is famous for its fun and festive spirit, especially during Basant and other similar festivals,” said Mustafa Khan, who was at the spot with his family.

He said that at this time of the year, he and his friends make it a point to meet at the ground to have fun. “Sometimes we order kites and dor from Pakistan, but we often also buy it from here,” he said.

According to the traditional game, kite lovers and fliers turning their sights skywards to applaud an ongoing ‘kite-cutting’ competition. After an opponent’s kite has been ‘cut’ by letting the dor down upon the opponent’s dor and tugging at it, bhangra dance, screams of joy and blasting of horns announces the victory of the kite-cutter.

With lilting Punjabi numbers blaring from the nearby parked cars, Ammara Suhail, while thoroughly enjoying herself said, “Though I do not fly kites myself, I enjoy watching the game and the sight of colourful kites dotting the sky. I love dressing up in yellow and orange, which are basant colours, and watching people compete with each other,” she added.

Maher Ali enjoying with his friends informed that the wind has to be just right for kite flying. “If the wind is strong, then the string breaks quickly and the kite breaks off and if there is no wind, a lot of effort is needed to keep it in air,” he explained the technique.

Making the place lively are kite ‘looters’ who do not actually fly a kite but are seen scanning the skies for any kite floating freely which they can capture and keep as a treasure. “This is another kind of victory,” explains Rashid, jumping over obstacles and dashing over to a floating kite in a bid to beat others at the game.


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