Flying Kites in Dieppe

On 12-13 September 2014, just after my trip to Croatia, I was assigned by the Embassy of Indonesia in Paris to conduct a musical perfomance in Dieppe, a beachside city to the north of Paris. I will write about how I became an “Impromptu Ambassador” to one of Indonesia’s traditional instrument called “Angklung” another time. That time, it was not a usual cultural performance as I have normally had conducted, but it was going to be an entertainment for an event called “Dieppe International Kite Festival” or “Dieppe festival international de cerf-volant.”

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Shortly, this event can be easily identified by its name. It’s a kite festival. The mayor of Dieppe runs the festival every two years, where kite-flyers from around the globe are invited to come to their city, bring their kites, and fly them.

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In makes a lot of sense because, in this part of France, the wind blows like crazy. Not as crazy as a hurricane but it is more than enough to fly kites. Big kites. As big as a normal adult. Even bigger. Another interesting thing I found in this festival was, they made a complex of wind-driven construction/attraction/whatnot where the visitors can observe how cool winds can be. There were even the interactive ones!

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Beside conducting a show, I was also “accidentally” responsible to serve the visitors who were coming to Indonesia’s booth. I learned new stuff about Indonesian Kites – since I needed to explain them to the visitors – and I love how appreciating the visitors were. Well, take a look at this dragon’s head below..

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..it flies. Believe me. Every single visitor whom I told that this head could fly, along with its body – which is not shown in this photo, – kind of shocked. “It flies?” “No way!” “When will it fly again?” But of course, you need a good wind to fly this kind of thing. Especially, this “becak” kite..

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..it flies, too. “Becak” is actually a traditional Indonesian transportation mode, which is basically a a three-wheeled bike. You can still find becaks in Yogyakarta or other Indonesian touristy cities. Oh, and this one..

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..this, my fellow readers, is a kite. Made completely out of leafs and bamboos. They even created the threads from some kind of very thick leafs. It is called “Kaghati” kite. You can read more about it in this link, or you know, google it. Reputedly, it is stated as the first kite in the world. Quite cool isn’t it?

For the closing night, they held a night flying. Wait, what? Night flying? Yes. And it was also a competition. Each participating country was invited to nominate their best kite to be flown at night. With, of course, lighting on the kite. And this, is the “Barong” kite, the Indonesian Contender.

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And this beautiful, beautiful kite, won the competition! First prize! Woohoo!

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