The history of kites dates back to the era of BC where it was first invented by China in 200 BC. Kites had been used in defense by army generals to measure the distance of enemy camps and send signals to their armies. Yet, later around 10th and 11th century, flying kites transformed into a popular activity of recreation in China.Even many scientists used kite to investigate their own scientific curiosities. In 1752, Benjamin Franklin hypothesized that lightening is an electrical phenomena. He used a kite to study the phenomena of electricity by drawing electricity from the sky under stormy weather. Aeronautical pioneer Lawrence Hargrave designed box-kites in 1893 which improved the lift to drag ratio of early gliders. This variety of kites which was flown in tandem lifted him 16 feet from the ground on 12th November 1894. After that, Wright brothers built and tested a series of manned gliders during 1900-1902 where their preliminary tests were carried out with a kite in 1899.
Now kite flying has been noticed as a regular and old traditional activity in the world where countries like UK, USA, France, Japan, Germany etc. hold international kite flying competitions and workshops annually. Even in India, the festival spirit is showcased by flying kites especially on the day of Makar Sankranthi.
Now people have more awareness about the art of flying a kite in leisure time. The activity of flying kites regenerates energy providing many benefits like reducing stress while initially increasing one’s creativity and patience in making the kites. It also develops the level of concentration of an individual. Flying kites provides physical activities to our brains, eyes, arms, legs and neck without our knowledge. It is carried outside in an open area where you are directly under the Sun. So, the exposure to oxygen and Vitamin D is much more compared to other indoor activities.
Obviously, flying of kites is the cheapest recreational activity with less pollution to the environment. The happiness, freshness it generates with physical involvement among the individuals cannot be measured quantitatively too.
Kite is a lifeless entity. Yet, it can be used to spread social messages for a clean environment, to avoid smoking, child protection, communal harmony, peace, national integration and many more themes as an educating tool. Even kids can be encouraged to make meaningful kites with different colour schemes according to their wish.
To have a happy, healthy and stress free life flying a kite should be encouraged among the community.
Honestly, time has arrived to put more efforts to revive the true art of flying kites in our leisure time. Because we have created boundaries between individuals on this Earth by age, gender, caste, nationality etc. Yet, a kite does not follow these boundaries as it acts as a medium to spread the fragrance of humanity across borders without any limit.
Chathurie is currently working as an educational consultant to Headstart (Pvt) Ltd. She is our Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy Officer too. At present, she is doing her PhD in Solid State Physics at OUSL.