“Kai Po che”
Is echoed in every corner, every nook and evokes memories of childhood where we ran across the terrace trying to trace the kites that were falling off the sky. This is the week of Uttarayan and in Gujarat, ‘Kai Po che’ ie. ‘I have cut’ is used with reference to kites. Friends, neighbours, and strangers battle one another and the sound of victory echo in the air when someone cuts the line of a rival.
The term Uttarayana is derived from two different Sanskrit words “uttara” (North) and “ayana” (movement) thus indicating a semantic of the northward movement of the Earth on the celestial sphere.
We were invited to experience this and more(more will be coming later) and thought it would be worth sharing with you all. The festival was inaugurated by the Governor of Gujarat and the energy of the place was unbelievable.
Gujarat Tourism organizes an International Kite Festival where it invites International kite fliers from across the world. This year the festival is being celebrated between 8-14th of January spread across 14 cities with over 31 countries participating in it. 186 kite fliers of which 51 were from across India and the rest were International kite fliers from across the world. Argentina, Australia, France, Brazil, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Netherlands, New-Zealand, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the U.K, the U.S.A and Vietnam are some of the countries that participated in the festival. I talked to many of them and all had one common take back, the size and the zest of this festival celebrated in India is uncomparable to their own country and imagine the kind of tales they carry back with them.
There was also a craft bazaar showcasing the works of the local artisans and we could not help but shop from most of these stalls. The pricing and the product were both irresistible 🙂 and I couldn’t help myself.
Over 2000 students from schools run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation performed the Surya namaskars, marking the opening of the kite festival and promoting yoga as a very essential part of our cultural heritage.
Just to give you a short glimpse of the festival, we have made a short video for you;
Did you know?
There is a scientific reason for flying kites on Makar Sankranti. For many years people fly kites in the early hours of the day when sun rays are not harsh. The morning sun rays provide necessary vitamin to our skin and body and help us combat infections.
There is a show and then there is backstage and we always like to see what the backstage of these celebrations holds, as most wonderful stories come from there. Let’s take you on a photo walk through the streets of Jamalpur neighbourhood where the local kite market prevails through generations.
Kai Po Che: A Walk In the Streets Of Ahmedabad(Jamalpur neighbourhood)
These are some of the stories of the 300-odd households living in the Jamalpur area of Ahmedabad, where kite making and selling has developed into a cottage industry and the industry, hold your breath is a multi-crore business and is only cited to grow further. I am left in awe of the endless possibilities.