Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shutter day: Nostalgia, a kite flyer's aide

Theme 147: Nostalgia
Greetings Shutterdayers!

This week: Nostalgia - Show us pictures of when life was as good as it was ever going to get, or something that reminds you of that. Remind US.


This photo takes me back to when I was a kid in Borneo.

Kite flying was a serious business to the boys like my brother Charles and Joseph. They made their own kites, spending ages shaving bamboo rods to make the skeleton of the kites, slowly shaving a little and checking to make sure the sides balance.

Then with home made glue, they glue the coloured wax paper on the frame.

For serious competition, they melt some smelly horse glue and mix it with pounded fine glass powder and attached them to the string. This is real serious as in the process of doing this, they cut themselves.

When the strings are dried, they fly their kites and war begins when they cut the string of each other's kite. They shout "BALAYANG" when a kite is cut off, and the scramble for the fallen kite begins.

In low rise houses, the boys even climb up people's roofs, trees or over fence. They trample on vegetable patches, topple over flower pots. They just want that prize kite. Totally oblivious to anything else. A complete disregard for people's property.

My part in this vicious fight, I was the kite flyer's aide. Like the boy in the photo, I help to lift the kite up before the kite is launched.


MyBestKiteGuy said...

I enjoyed reading your 'warts and all' description of kids and their fighter kites! Once owned an Indian kite bought from a store, but was more of a solitary flier... These days, fiddle around with kites made from BBQ skewers (bamboo!) or hardwood dowel and plastic.

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