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Kite Flying Tournaments in Afghanistan

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Emily Van Gastel

on 6 May 2015

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Transcript of Kite Flying Tournaments in Afghanistan

By Emily Van Gastel
Kite Flying Tournaments in Afghanistan

What is a Kite Flying Tournament?
Kite Flying Tournament
A popular sport in Afghanistan, along with several other countries
Known as Gudiparan Bazi
2 person sport: leader flies the kite (Gudiparan Baz), assistant holds the drum (Charka Gir)
Competition relies on skill, concentration, and patience
Tournament to see who's kite can stay air born the longest
Objective is to cut your competitors kites string using yours
Fights can last from a few seconds up to an hour
Kite Flying Tournament Cont.
The last kite remaining in the sky wins
The best kite flyer in each neighborhood is highly looked up to
Tradition is to fly kites during the winter because there is no school and stronger wind than most of the year
Kite competitors create their own kites
After cutting the opponents wire, competitors often chase their opponents kites to capture for their own use later on, giving them the name "kite runners"
What is a kite made up of?
Parts of a Fighter Kite
Consists of 3 main parts;
The kite
Known as the "flying doll"
Built in a variety of sizes - from 10" to human size
All kites are made of thin paper with a bamboo skeleton, making them easily flexible and light
The wire (tar)
Used by the leader for control
Considered one of the most important factors of the kite unit
Variety of different wires are used
Made of materials such as grounded glass, rice paste, etc.
The drum (charkha)
Used for storage of wire
Important during kite flying because it allows for quick release of extra wire
Made of wood for lightness, making quick movements easier
Where did kite flying originate?
History of Kite Flying
Kite flying originated in China
Afghans have been flying kites for over 100 years
Was banned during the Taliban regime because it was believed to be un-Islamic and a waste
Severe punishments ranging from beatings to imprisonment were sentenced to anybody who was caught flying a kite
Over years, kite flying evolved into kite fighting
Why do Afghans fly kites?
Symbolism
Kite flying is thought of as a fun sport/hobby, however has more meaning than that
Represents national and personal pride, along with the history and independence of Afghanistan
What are the dangers of kite flying?
Dangers
Numerous cases of severe injuries and death have been caused by participating in kite flying competitions
Kite runners are often too focused on the kite in the sky to pay attention to where their running, risking the chance of running into trees, cement poles, and oncoming traffic on the road
Kite flyers usually stand on building tops/roofs to give them a height advantage, risking falling off from a great height
The kite's wire is made to be sharp to cut the opponents wire, but often cuts the leaders fingers as well - leather wrapped around their fingers is commonly used to prevent this
Thanks for watching!
Bibliography
Any questions?
"Kite Flying in Afghanistan." <i>Kite Flying in Afghanistan and the Types of Afghani Fighter Kites.</i> Thurs 23 Apr. 2015. &lt;http://www.afghanistan-culture.com/kite-flying-in-afghanistan.html&gt;.

Fasto, M. "Tasvir Afghanistan | Magazine." <i>The Tradition of Kite Flying in Afghanistan</i>. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. &lt;http://tasvirafghanistan.com/social-cultural-economic/642-the-tradition-of-kite-flying-in-afghanistan&gt;.

Pett, Landon. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/world/asia/14iht-kites.4.8751433.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>.

"The Art of Gudiparan Bazi - Afghan Kite Flying." The Art of Gudiparan Bazi - Afghan Kite Flying. Web. 23 Apr. 2015. <http://afghana.com/Entertainment/Gudiparanbazi.htm>.


P., F. "Artistry In The Air -- Kite Flying Is Taken To New Heights In Afghanistan." <i>RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty</i>. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. &lt;http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1101400.html&gt;.

"Fight for Flight | The National." <i>Fight for Flight | The National</i>. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. &lt;http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/art/fight-for-flight&gt;.
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