[ 2007-07-04 15:51 ]
Kite Running in Afghanistan
After the Taliban banned kite running in 1996, the national pastime is back.
You could have seen the sight like this centuries ago. A vast sky, a lovingly crafted work of art fluttering through it. but these kites are not there for gentle beauty, each has a gladiator in a duel waged on earth by Olympic quality kite athletes, each one coats the string of his kite in glass. for a chance to cut the string of opponent. When a kite falls to the ground, the second round of the contest begins. Children, running after the wayward kites to bring them back to their owners for desperately needed money. These are the Kite Runners. It is a marriage of young fast legs and artist who protect the ancient craft.
"I can thank God I’m the best kite maker in the world”, he says boldly.” if anyone wants to challenge me? They can come.”
N. is from a long line of kite makers. We founding him sitting among graves of his family,where he worked for 45 years to all the wards and hard chip. He shows us what it is to bind spindly bamboo and tissue paper together in an aero-dynamic secret of tartness and curves. They can be as big as 5 feet and in the west might sell for as much as 500 dollars. He tells us it’s the most important part, the heart of any kite.
Hard not to see a metaphor, and a man sitting on the graves of his ancestors in Afghanistan, trying to hold on to a delicate and beautiful piece of the past .Made us think of something the president of this country said to us.Hamid Karzai Who loves poetry. I asked him his favorite verse, The one he chose was Shelley’s "Ode to the west wind".
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.