HIDCO to organise kite flying contest on Saturday
There will be fight of kites in the sky and three last survivors will be given prizes. The contestants will have to bring kites, threads (known as manja suto in Bengali parlance) and latai.
No Chinese plastic threads will be allowed. Interested persons will have to register their names with the curator of Eco Park. The competition will be held in the afternoon. This is for the first time when kite flying competition is being held in Eco Park.
It may be recalled that a tradition sports competition like guli (marble), dang-guli, kumir-danga etc were held in Eco Urban village this year to create awareness among the youngsters about the hitherto forgotten sports.
Kites played an important role in the cultural life of Bengal. The kites were brought from Oudh by Nawab Wajed Ali Shah when he came to Bengal and settled in Metiabruz after the Sepoy Mutiny.
Famous Latu Babu and Chatu Babu used to fly kites with currency notes affixed on them.
It may be mentioned that when Mohun Bagan beat Eastern Yorks 2-1 in the IFA Shield match in 1911, kites were flown to inform people about the result. Some of the popular kites, “Mukhpora” Chandial”,
“Petkata” were oft uttered names in Bengali household, particularly among the school goers and youth.
In Hooghly district kites were flown on the day of Pous Shankranti in January. In Kolkata and its suburbs, kites were flown on the day of Viswakarma puja. There were well known shops selling kites like Ghurighar, Debalaya. Most of the shops are closed except two on Creek Row in Central Kolkata.
The popularity of kite flying received a blow after old buildings were pulled down to make room for high-rise apartments.
The roofs belong to the promoter so people did not get any space to fly kites. Soon Chinese plastic kites and threads were introduced but it did not have the old charm of paper made kites with manja suto.