Kite running

Kite running

Kite running is the practice of running after drifting kites in the sky that have been cut loose in kite fighting. Kites are flown and fought in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and surrounding regions, especially in the Indian subcontinent throughout the year and during kite flying festivals. The manja or the kite flying string that is used to fly these kites is coated with powdered glass. Kite flyers entangle the manja of their flying kites with each other and try to cut the string of the other by the pull or release method. The winner's kite remains flying while the loser's kite string is cut loose, drifting free with the wind until it falls to the ground. Kite running is the practice of running after these cut kites to try and capture them when they come down; typically the custom is that the person who captures a cut kite can keep it. Droves of people of all ages may run after a kite and try to capture it with the help of poles or broken off tree branches with which they try to entangle the loose string trailing with the kite. Running after and capturing these kites is often made more difficult when these drifting kites are taken long distances with the wind or fall atop trees, electric poles and houses over compound walls and fences, or in the middle of or across busy roads and railway lines. In cities and towns, the bigger and more expensive looking the kite, the more people can usually be seen running after it to try and capture it as their free prize.

Several kite runners die each year gazing up and running after kites, being so fixated on the drifting kites in the sky that they run into the path of oncoming traffic and trains or fall from trees and buildings which they were trying to scale to get the kite that landed on it.

Others gravely endanger their lives when they walk around in the middle of congested towns and cities facing up with their eyes fixed on fighting kites in the skies. The excitement to see which of the fighting kite wins and which one loses sometimes makes people dangerously unaware of what is happening on the ground in their immediate surroundings, causing injuries from collisions with traffic, for example.

ee also

* Kite
* Kite fighting
* Manja, the glass powder coated kite flying & fighting string
* Uttarayan, The kite flying festival of northern India
* The novel "The Kite Runner", and the movie based on it


* [ 10-year-old boy dies chasing kite, 14 Jan 2008, TNN, The Times of India]
* [,prtpage-1.cms Uttarayan cuts short six lives, 16 Jan 2004, TNN, The Times of India]
* [ Manja market flying low! 15 Dec 2006, Rajat Ghai , TNN, The Times of India]
* [ Docs flock to save winged victims, 10 Jan 2008, Radha Sharma , TNN, Times of India]
* [ Vulture worries stalk activists on Uttarayan, 14 Jan 2007, TNN, The Times of India]
* [,prtpage-1.cms Vets to heal birds this Uttarayan, 5 Jan 2006, Radha Sharma , TNN, The Times of India]
* [ Soaring kites ground at least 600 winged souls, 15 Jan 2005, TNN, The Times of India]
* [ Celebrate... but with compassion, 12 Jan 2004, JHUMARI NIGAM , TNN, The Times of India]
* [ Pakistan tackles killer kites: Kite flyers in Pakistan's Punjab Province will face murder charges and a possible death penalty if their sharpened strings cause more deaths. By Shahid Malik, BBC, BBC correspondent in Lahore, Tuesday, 10 June, 2003]
* [ Many birds fall prey as kites rule skies, 15 Jan 2003, TNN, The Times of India]

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