Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kite Fights

"Tuban's got nothing but fish," said Surabaya driver Iwan Jauhari. "Nothing at all for tourists."
This didn’t stop 3,000 visitors spending Saturday November 27 in the Terminal Wisata for the second annual Tuban kite festival.

Tuban, East Java, overlooks the Java Sea and is a three hour drive west from Surabaya.
"The eagle kites are best," an eagle kite maker exclaims, his handmade kites propped against a wall on display.

The heat is fierce and there is little shade. A woman shelters beneath a red Manchester United umbrella; another holds a child's wooden easel over her head. Everywhere is the carousel melody of the bicycle-pedaled ice cream carts.
"Kites are a part of Indonesian culture," says kite guru Endang Puspoyo, founder of the Indonesian Kite Museum in Jakarta. The museum brought over 100 kites to the Tuban festival, including a rainbow cuttlefish over 30 metres long.
But what about kite fighting?

"Kite fighting is called layangan adu," explains Endang. "The classic diamond-shaped two-frame kite is used and the string is coated with a mix of egg yolk and broken light bulb glass. The string must be good quality, sometimes we import it from Holland."
"There are two types of fighting," Endang continues, sitting cross-legged beneath a marquee beside the seawall. She is wearing a richly patterned turban, awesome sunglasses, and cerise lipstick. Kite diva. "Adu tarik and adu ulur: the difference is the height at which the competitors cross strings to fight."

The objective is to sever the opponent's string. "But if you want to know more about kite fighting, you should ask a man."

Museum Layang Layang Indonesia
(+62) (0) 21 765 80 75
Jl. H. Kamang No. 38, Pondok Labu, Jakarta 12450, Indonesia

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