A Bit of Background about Kite-Running in Afghanistan...
Hope is knowing that people, like kites, are made to be lifted up.”
-Afghanistan Relief Organization
Kite-running (Gudiparan Bazi) has been a favorite pastime in Afghanistan for the last 100 years, but there are few on the streets of Kabul that can forget the terror of living under the Taliban regime for so many years. Under Taliban rule, if you were caught with a kite, many times you would be beaten and the spool would be destroyed. However, since the fall of the Taliban regime, kite-running has again resurfaced tenfold.
Kite-running is a two-person affair, with one person called the “charka gir” and the other called the “gudiparan baz.” The charka gir is in charge of the holding the wooden kite spool, around which the wire, or “tar” is wound. The second person, called the “gudiparan baz” actually is in control of the movement of the kite in the air. Kite flyers stand on tops of buildings, fighting with kites from all over the city. The object is to strike down the kite of your opponent with the string of your kite, after which you will be called the winner. The strings are often made with razor wire which gives the sharpness to cut down other kites. After an opponent’s kite is set free, it flutters away into the wind where it is usually picked up by the local children, who fly it the next day as their own.
Kites are made of either extremely fragile tissue paper, or heavier more durable mylar fabric. They come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Kites range in price depending on the size and materials used to make the kite. For a small, simple, child sized kite, the price starts at just a few cents. For large, elaborate, colorful kites, many with dangling adornments, the price can cost as much as [2 to 100] Afghanis, or $2 US.
(Quoted from “Kites for Kabul: Flying for Freedom”
Available online at