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Kite flying in Hue

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Kite flying in Hue
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Among many places in the country, Hue City seems to be regarded as the most ideal for kite flying. Except on rainy days, hundreds of kites can be seen soaring in the sky over Hue Citadel every afternoon, to the cheer of lively families, both adults and children.
Kite flying is an interesting and attractive game which has been around for a long time. Previously, kite flying was an interest of families and individuals, among whom were some artistic families in Hue who have been famous for kite flying for many generations. However, nowadays there is a Hue Kite Club, managed by Hoang and Nguyen Van Cu, deputy-head of the club. Fifteen club members support the exchange and preservation of the cultural feature of Hue kite flying.
Apart from kite flying over Ngo Mon (Noon Gate), the club also participates in dozens of exhibitions and kite flying contests nationwide in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Nghe An, Hoi An, Quy Nhon, Vung Tau, Quang Nam, Quang Binh and Quang Tri.
In the annual Hue Festival many local and foreign clubs including the South Korean Kite Club and Hoi An Kite Club take 15 kinds of kites to the sky to glide over Ngo Mon. The most striking of them is the 100-meter-dragon kite owned by artisan Nguyen Van Cu. The record-long kite took two months and 20 meters long to make by artisan Nguyen Chung Cu and his two helpers. The artisan’s kites have even been flown in France, where Hue kites are very popular and famous, and the artisan spoke with the French about Hue kites and gave kite-making lessons in some schools. His kites also have been exported to the US.
At the third international kite flying contest, Nguyen Van Cu and Nguyen Van Hoang took 40 colored kites to fly in the French skies. They were much admired by the 34 participating countries and local kite lovers. Vietnamese-French kite enthusiasts came to watch and show their appreciation for the Hue kites soaring in French sky.
The 60-year old artisan Nguyen Van Cu now lives on Mac Dinh Chi Street in the central city of Hue. His hobby of kite flying has spanned over 40 years kite. His childhood was filled with the sounds of kite-flutes of his grandfather Nguyen Van Ban.
The artisan’s grandfather had to sell some domestic utensils to buy kite materials as he was very poor. However, the melodies echoing from the flute attached to the soaring kite in the blue sky seem to sweep away the sadness of his poverty and misery.

Source: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/travel/2008/11/812146/

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