Amar Darjit was having a blast fighting kites.
“I lost two and I got one.” Darjit said, grinning as he took a break to get a fresh kite, and then went back to the battle.
Darjit was among the more than 300 people of all ages who turned out for the kite flying and family picnic at the Aldergrove Bowl Park on Sunday, July 17.
Organized by the Canadian Desi Arts and Culture Club, the event distributed kites and kite threads imported from India to participants.
Dipak Gandevia, one of the event sponsors, explained the event was the first time the kite tradition from India has ever taken place in the Lower Mainland.
Most of the people in the park have fond memories of kites, Gandevia explained.
“They were missing this kind of event.”
In kite combat, the goal is to use the sandpaper-like texture of the special kite lines to cut a rivals line and bring their kite down.
It was not all combat on Sunday, with some retiring to a field away from the main space to send the brightly coloured kites soaring peacefully into the sky.
Another sponsor, Yatin Wadhwani, said the event commemorates harvest season with some family-oriented fun.
“This is usually done in January,” Wadhwani told the Langley Advance Times.
“It’s really, really, really big in the northern and the western parts of India.’
Wadhwani said the event was also a welcome change after pandemic restrictions limiting public gatherings were lifted.
The Aldergrove event was organized by former Edmonton resident Ajay Rana, who thought it would be a great thing to bring to B.C.
Rana pronounced himself “1,000 per cent” delighted at the turnout “and surprised as well.”
Another sponsor, Suhas Kulkarni summed it up: “people get together and they go kite flying. It’s a nice program together with the community, and the society.”
More photos from the day can viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page,.
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