Pupils would cut old newspapers (or any other type of paper) and align them to sticks to form the kite shape and fasten a string to the kite. They would then run around as the wind kept the paper kite flying.
The game seemed an isolated activity until last Sunday afternoon when a huge section of the Indian community, comprised of both adults and children, converged at Kyambogo sports ground to fly paper kites.
According to Ronnie Zalwango Bbaale, the Corporate Communications officer Orient Bank, the Kite festival is an annual public event held in India every 14th of January. She says this is the day when it is believed that the summer season comes to an end.
It is considered a public holiday because it is believed that this when the planting season sets in. The higher one’s kite flies, the more one is expected to attain that year.
“You may think that holding your hands the way those men are doing is such an easy task but it is quite tiresome. You have to keep scaling your kite higher because it will determine your level of success,” Zalwango said on Sunday.
She added that Ugandans have also started to appreciate the Kite Festival. The first Ugandan Kite Festival was held last year in Kansanga. However, they are planning to organize a joint Ugandan-Indian kite festival where other activities such as blood donation and screening for non-communicable diseases will be carried out besides kite flying.
On Sunday afternoon, it was difficult for an onlooker to tell what exactly was happening at the Kyambogo sports grounds. Apart from the loud blaring music, it was unimaginable that adult parents and children could leave their homes, converge in a play field just to fly paper kites. Many were seen with heavy rolls of thread trying to scale the kites