Report By: Nina Rai
Mangaluru, 23 Jan 2012:
The 4th Annual Kite Festival with its theme “One Sky, One Earth and One Family” kicked off gloriously over clear skies in Mangalore on Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22 January 2012 respectively at the Panambur beach.
For local Mangaloreans, it was an awe-inspiring display in the open skies over the Arabian Sea. As far as the eyes could see there were multi-hued kites, designed as birds, teddy bears, octopuses, manta ray fishes, batman, frogs, tigers and baby tigers. (Do check all attached pics).
Organized by Team Mangalore led by the tireless kite campaigner Nitin J. Shetty, the two day kite festival was inaugurated by Simant Kumar, the police commissioner of the city on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, he declared that this festival of kites was beyond boundaries. In fact it is beyond religion, nation or community, he opined.
Kite enthusiasts from seven countries participated in the competitions. Other than the home country, countries participating in the kite festival were England, South Korea, Netherlands, Lebanon, Kuwait, Indonesia and France. In a sense the festival truly symbolized harmony among the people of different countries who participated in the festival, as it brought great joy on the faces of the visitors.
The Indian kites nicknamed ‘Kathakkali’ were among the largest kites flown in the skies while the kites flown by the Kuwaiti team were the most striking with two fishes and tiger models. Other extremely eye catching kite was that flown by the Lebanon team of Rami Al Khal and Sami Sayegh.
The duo’s two duck kites, one black and another white was appreciated a lot by the crowds. Rami is visiting India for the sixth time. He praised the organizers Team Mangalore for a well organized show. According to him "It is not just a compliment. I really appreciate the organizers because they have done a great job."
One kite flyer from the Netherlands called Otto was observed flying a kite from his latest edition ‘Beautiful People’. He informed that this edition comprises of a series of kites that are two metres wide and 3.8 metres long. The kites carry the faces of people close to him and have their favourite colour. “The 25-metre tail is made of Indian cotton,” informed Otto.
Another ardent kite flier March Herzog, a member of Manja Club of France, had brought three kites one of which was a unique one captioned ‘Revolution to the fest.’ This is Herzog third trip to the city and he says he likes the people here. With regard to flying kites in Mangalore skies, he opined “What is more important is the steady wind which is favorable for kite flying."
Not to be left behind even an Indian Asst. Professor in Engineering from NITK Surathkal, Prithviraj Umesh hit the Panambur skies with his inventive kite with an attached camera. He named his labor of love 'Mugila Kannu' (eye of the sky). His 12 mp Canon 450 series camera has the capacity to catch images from a distance of 1.5 km.
The response to the two-day festival was just mind-blowing. On Saturday the number of kite watchers on the beach touched 40,000, whereas on Sunday it was double that number. As Sunday was a weekly holiday, huge crowds thronged the Panambur beach to witness this amazing kite festival, making it the talk of this tiny coastal township.
Organizers Team Mangalore:Team Mangalore comprises of a bunch of non-professional kite makers and flyers who are into this activity mainly as a hobby. Founded in the year 1998, Team Mangalore has participated in kite festivals all over India as well as made a name for itself at international kite festivals. It has over the years, used kites as a medium to propagate the rich cultural heritage of India to the world. Included in Team Mangalore are members Nitin J. Shetty, Sarvesh Rao and Dinesh Holla.
Source: Times of India