Monday, February 7, 2011

Playing Kites: Now and Then

According to the Wikipedia, historically, kites were first used approximately 2,800 years ago in China. Initially, the ancient and medieval Chinese people used kites for measuring, distances, testing the wind, lifting men, signaling and communications for military operations. However, there were some sayings that kites existed way before those times in Indonesia. India also was one of the first countries to be familiar with kites. Marco Polo introduced kites to Europe towards the end of the 13th century and then kites were brought by sailors from Japan and Malaysia in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Nowadays, people use kites for casual entertainment, usually in parks. I never played kites before but did witness the popularity of kites at one point of time of my life when I was small back in my hometown. I saw young boys playing kites here and there. Some of the kites were stuck in the electricity pool's cables and trees around the town. I saw many stuck on top of my house's roof, tall barbed wire fence and TV antenna as well. I remember I had an old man neighbor who lived in a kampong behind my house who made paper kites for living.

When my husband and I visited Tanjung Emas Park in Muar few days ago, I didn't expect I would see the whole place filled with crowds playing kites. Young and old. The wind was pretty strong, so I guess the weather was sort of encouraging to play kites that afternoon. Really, I have not seen people playing kites since I was young especially during my stays in densely populated cities like Surabaya and Singapore. Seeing so many people utilizing kites as family afternoon entertainment tools in Muar is sort of soothing to me. It brought back the old times memory when there were no known of digital video games, computer and the like.

 Tanjung Emas Park in Muar.

Kites were everywhere in the blue sky.

Hesitated in the beginning, but in the end, my husband agreed to get one kite of RM 15 and fly it high.

 The kite seller.

 Selling kites could be a good business in Muar, it seemed.

A deliriously happy boy with his new big bird toy.

Getting the kite ready.

Happy kid again.

Excited to try flying kite for the first time ever.

Fly high, fly high, dear kite.

I guess this playing kite in Muar phenomena is one of the implications of living in a small town with no shopping mall. Most of the people just did not have so many places of interest options during holiday so they just strolled in the one and only park in town. There were just that many people playing kites and as a result, they tend to tangle the kite strings to each others when flying them.

What an afternoon. Who knew that our stroll to hung Rojak in Tanjung Emas would end up in reliving the childhood experience. I kind of like it, though.

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