Mangaluru: ‘One Sky,One Earth, One Family’! 24 Int’l Kite Flyers in City for Vth Int’l Kite Festival

Rotary International Kite Festival, 2016 is being organized by Rotary Clubs of Zone IV Mangalore in association with Team Mangalore, a hobby group of kite makers and flyers. The event would be held on 16th and 17th of January, 2016 at the Panambur Beach-Mangaluru from 2.30pm onwards. This will be the 5th International Kite Festival being held in Mangaluru, with the motto ” One Sky, One Earth, One Family”. The logo of Rotary International Kite Festival, 2016 depicts the spirit of freedom, spontaneity and festivity. The colourful kites flying in synergy denote the poised growth of the region in tune with the belief ‘One Sky’, One Earth’, One Family’ nurtured by Kite flyers from various countries. The festival flag kite will be launched at 2:30PM on 16th January, 2016. On Sunday, the flying will begin at 2:30 PM and would end at 7PM. The two days post noon festival concludes with a valedictory function again an informal function at 7:00pm on the 17th evening, after a brief stage function to felicitate participating kite flyers. There is no Entry Fee.

Mangaluru : According to the organizers, Kite Festival is an event to facilitate mass participation. It’s a festival. There is no entry fee, no speeches, only pure fun. It is an opportunity to feel the thrill of kite line in your fingers. Just be on the shore and watch hundreds of colorful kites of various sizes and shapes fluttering on the horizon of Panambur beach, virtually forming a rainbow with the setting sun at the background. Get a kite, lets fly them together. No competition, no winning prizes, just feel the pleasure of kite flying. This year’s festival holds lot more interest as flyers from UK, Australia, Netherlands, Kuwait, Cambodia, Turkey, Thailand, France ,Ukraine, Italy, Germany, and Singapore have already confirmed their participation. Teams from Maharashtra, Hyderabad and Karnataka will also also participate.

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24 Foreign Flyers from 13 countries and 3 Indian Teams from Dahanu, Mumbai and Hyderabad will be participating in this festival. Team Mangalore, the organizers would also fly their specialty kites like Kathakkali, Yaksha ,Gajaraja, Bhoota Kola,Pushpaka Vimana,Garuda along with its latest creation “VIBHEESHANA” and a special “SAVE NETRAVATI” kite during the event. Night Flying of Kites is planned on Saturday evening using high power beams. This will be an added attraction to the event. Night Flying will commence at 7:00 PM on and will go on for about 1 hour on Saturday 16th January, 2016. First time in Mangaluru a innovative idea of lighting a series of over 100Nos. Beach Lanterns specially created by Pranesh and Satish Rao of Team Mangalore on the beach to add colour to night flying of kites.

Various cultural programmes have been arranged in the centre Stage during the festival days. To facilitate capturing the best moments and the colourful sky of Panambur beach, a Photography contest has been organized during the festival. This contest is open to all-Photos to be mailed to kitesguru@gmail.com before 20th of January, 2016. For details contact the organizers- Rtn Elias Sanctis-9900253039; Rtn Ramakrishna Kamath-9845100824; Nitin Shetty-9845085609; Dinesh Holla-9341116111

The organizers have issued caution about the use of Manja- Manja is a specially treated thread used for Kite flying in Kite cutting competitions in Gujarat and other northern states. Glass powder and glue is applied to the manja thread. This thread cuts through the skin and is dangerous for the eyes, face, neck and fingers, specially of children. It also causes damage and cuts the kites of participating guest flyers, thus bringing a bad name for Mangaluru in the International Flying Circles. It is hereby made clear that in the interest of public, possession, sale or use of manja thread is STRICTLY not allowed on Panambur Beach during the kite festival.

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Several stalls vending fruits, mineral water, ice cream, soft drinks and food including sea food are available on the beach as the Food Festival is being organized by Beach authorities. Kites of various sizes, shapes and colours will be available for sale at the Kites Shops. However, manja kites are STRICTLY not allowed. If one would ask why one more Kite Festival- the answer would be- ” One Sky, One Earth, One Family” goes the saying amongst kite flyers. Yes, we have enough festivals, but most of them are bogged by caste, creed, religion or narrow political ideologies. Kite Festival is unique. It offers an opportunity to feel the childhood charms again. It is an effort to turn to our roots and replay the cultural cords, just for a break from our daily routines.

If one would ask, what is the purpose behind holding Kite Festival? Today there is an urgent need to bring back the childhood in our children. The vicious circle of school, tuition, mobile and T.V. has curtailed their innocent childhood plays. There is a need to bring them outdoors to feel the joy of being with nature. Children; some open space and kites, you can see their creative skills soar. This applies to the grown ups too. It is an opportunity for the grown ups to relive their childhood days. This is the sole event where caste, creed, religion and age is no bar for this festival.The festival provides a Platform for stage shows and Photography competitions thereby facilitating confluence of creative talents rooted in cultural tradition in the local population.

So what’s the inspiration behind Kite festival? Kite festivals are common in Northern states of Rajasthan, U.P., M.P and Gujarat. B. Sarvesh Rao, the founder of ‘Team Mangalore’ had first participated in International Kite festival in Gujarat in 1998. Seeing the freaks from abroad, for whom neither the time nor the money that goes into making kites matter, he learnt that they not only make their own kites but also use different material which is portable, easy to carry and assemble. Talking to Rolf Strum from Germany, Saverio from Italy, he was thrilled by their passion for kites. It was a different world altogether. Sarvesh wanted to explore it. This inspired him to form “Team Mangalore”. Their first kite was the Indian fighter kite series (Train kite), about 500 kites tied in a row to a single thread. The only open space they could find to fly such a lengthy series was the Beach. The crowd it attracted, the enthusiasm in kids who thronged to feel the tension of kite line, the innumerable questions kids asked made them venture into kite Festival. The patronage it got thanks to the responsive press and T.V. media prompted Team Mangalore to organize it year after year.

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During the Vth Rotary International Kite Festival, the sky of Panambur beach will be coloured by 24 kite flyers from 13 countries viz, a 3 member Al-Farsi Team from Kuwait led by Khaled Almeer, Bob C and Karl Long Bottom from UK, Kite Couples Sim Sarak and Yarin Cheang (Cambodia), Ron and Baew Spaulding (Thailand), Marco Herzog and Saundrine (France), Michael (whose ancestors hail from Mangaluru) and Jane Alvares (Australia), Emen Bozbey and Ferhan Bozbey (Turkey), Edo Boreghetti from Italy, Raymond De Graaf from Netherlands, Axel Kostros from Germany, Lady Flyer Gadis Widiyati and Maksum from Singapore, Lady Flyer Fredrique Pacquire from France and Oleksiy Shramko from Ukraine. In addition 3 National Teams Viz.Srishti Kite Club represented by Ashok Shah and team of 5 members, Ajay Prakash from Mumbai and Kohinoor Kite Club of Hyderabad represented by K.Srinivas and team of two members will be participating in this festival.

Team Mangalorean had a nice time to interact with some of the foreign kite makers and flyers. Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Emin Bobzey from Turkey, who is accompanied by his wife Ferhan said, ” I have been a kite maker since my younger days, which later led me to take part in various kite festivals, and for the last 16 years I have traveled all over the world, namely France, Italy, Malaysia, Lebanon, India and others. I had won first place for my ship design kite at Istanbul Kite Festival. We have been given a courteous, good hospitality and friendly care by Rtn Ravilochan Achar and his family where we have been accommodated. For someone who are looking forward to start kite flying as a hobby, it is a good hobby, good sport, you will encounter fresh air of the nature, meet and make new friends, learn different culture and tradition when you travel around, overall it is fun and keeps your body active”.

Fredrique Requier aged 55 from France says, ” I have been in this fun sport for the last 20 years, and traveled countries namely Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, India (four times), Istanbul, Indonesia etc. I only fly for show, and never for competition. For this kite festival in Mangaluru I have created kite designs of Cow, Dinosaur and Soccer Ball. Regarding Mangaloreans I can say they are very friendly, courteous, helpful, friendly, very caring and loving. Taking part in kite Festivals, you fly kites for peace and harmony. It is fun, keeps you active and busy, you’ll have a chance to mingle with all kind of people, with family, and will learn new culture and traditions”.

Gadis Widiyati aged 55, secretary of Singapore Kite Association speaking to mangalorean.com said, ” I have been making and flying kites since I was 10 years old. I have been making kites out of paper. I have traveled Istanbul, China, Korea, South Africa, many South Eastern countries, Japan, India. Flying Kite is like a therapy-it’s good for your eyes, neck, hands/fingers. You’ll keep yourself busy controlling the kite and you’ll have lots of fun. You’ll meet different kind of people and make new friends. I have come along with my partner Maksum from Singapore, and we are proud to say that the Panambur Beach is the ideal place which offers the best conditions for the kiters”.

Edo Borghetti-President of Italian Kite Flying Association who has great passion for flying kites says, ” I learnt this flying kite art from my father, and he gave me the best training, and now I am sharing it with children by teaching them how to make and fly kites. My “Turbine Kite” design/concept which I featured at many kite festivals has been copied by the Chinese kite flyers for which I am not happy. Turbine Kite, is a rotating kite, and many are copying it’s design. While regular kites are known for their stability and acrobatic manoeuvres in the sky, the big rotating kites that move really fascinates me and also others”.

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Alex Kostros aged 50 from Germany says, ” I have 26 years flying and making kites. Trigou Box is my kite design. I have been to various kite festivals held in Denmark, Belgium, France, Austria, Italy, Canada, USA , and been to India 5 times earlier, and Mangaluru is my sixth time. The Panambur Beach location is a perfect destination for kite flying-the steady winds make it a pleasure to unleash our flying skills. It’s always pleasure to be back here in this coastal town, where friendly people welcome you with a smile and good hospitality, and the organizers are awesome and absolutely perfect. While flying Kite you connect with the sky, you’ll feel the force of the nature because of the winds. This art makes you relax, it’s active hobby, you use your mind and soul, you meet people and share your views and news. While building kites it asks for your creativity. My stay at Rtn Anil Gonsalves house here has been a memorable one- good hospitality, courteous, sumptuous Mangalorean cuisine of fish curry rice and other seafood delicacies. Great Town, Great People.I love coming back to this fun and friendly town”..

The Al-Farsi team comprising of Khaled Almeer (34), Mohammed Ahmad (20) and Fahad Almohammad from Kuwait are going to showcase their largest collection of inflatable kites to the people of Mangaluru. They have been here in 2012, and they love coming back to Mangaluru. They will showcase their kite designs of Fish, Dog, Bear, Ray- and have also have a air banner with words saying” We Love Mangalore”. They have also created World’s largest kite in the design of ‘Kuwait Flag’, made of fabric material which is 1000 sq ft, and was judged by Guinness Book of World Records in 2005.

The Kuwaiti team speaking to mangalorean.com said, ” We loved our visit to Mangalore in 2012, and we know this visit also will be a great one. Great organizers, good people, very helpful and volunteering when needed, and excellent hospitality.And off course, authentic seafood cuisine. We love Biriyani, tandoori Chicken, Butter chicken, Kori Rotti (favourite). “We Love Mangalore” -and we want to spread this message through a kite banner in the sky here at the festival. We have traveled to Malaysia, New Zealand, Holland, China, France, UK, Qatar, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, while our experience in Mangaluru has been the best. Kite Flying is a fun hobby-you love to see smile, gives good exercising and make friends fast.

So in conclusion, Kite making is a creative hobby. It’s a big business abroad. It’s a home industry in Gujarat and Rajasthan. With traditional local industries like beedi and tiles showing downward trend, with proper guidance, kites can become a home industry in the region too. We need to encourage this hobby. Let the younger generation be inspired. Let there be group efforts to make kites and fly them together. Let us spread the message ” One Sky, One Earth, One Family” far  and wide! Be at Panambur Beach this afternoon, and experience lots of fun and frolic stored for you.

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