Foreign guests get a glimpse of local culture

Foreign guests get a glimpse of local culture

Foreign kite flyers in front of the Kadri temple's chariot during the annual car festival.

The International Kite Festival at Panambur beach, sixth for ‘Team Mangalore’ and second for district administration, went beyond the objective of flying kites and entertaining the young and old alike.

The three-day festival also facilitated a culture exchange, Team Mangalore’s founder Sarvesh Rao and artist Dinesh Holla said. True to ‘One Sky, One Earth and One Family’, the theme of ‘Team Mangalore’,  the kite flyers from foreign countries were made to feel like one family, Sarvesh Rao said.

“Many kite flyers travelling to India are passionate about understanding the culture, tradition and cuisine which differs for every few kilometres,” he said. 

“The foreign audience is very sensitive to art and tradition,” Dinesh Holla, whose artworks on tribals have a huge demand in European countries, said.

The foreign teams, during their stay here, were taken to a Yakshagana play (Devi Mahatme) staged at Urva stores. The foreigners, fascinated by the folk dance-drama, sat glued to their seats for hours, Sarvesh Rao recollected.

They also got to watch a rare cock-fight in Kodikal, annual Kadri temple car festival, Bhoota (Spirit) worship near Urva rice mill.

“Students were busy practising Bharatanatyam at one of the halls at Kadri temple. A couple from China, Tam Xinbo and Shi Shan, joined them in dancing much to the glee of the young Bharatanatyam dancers,” Dinesh Holla told DH.

Team Mangalore’s other members, like Giridhar Kamath, Nithin Shetty, Prashant, Sanil and Subhash, also involved in sourcing local cuisine palatable to the taste buds of foreigners. The foreigners relished tender coconut and loved ‘Churmuri’.

Raymond Euphemia De Graph, a kite flyer from the Netherlands, went home beaming after he got what he had been searching for years. “After shopping for hours, we found an attractive silk piece to border his kite and a Bullet T-shirt at one of the bullet showrooms,” Sarvesh Rao said.

Dinesh Holla said many kite flyers after the festival had sought permission to design their kites based on the characters they had seen in the Yakshagana. Kite festival also promoted tourism, says Panambur Beach Development Authority (PBDA) Chairman Yatish Baimapady.

Anxious moments

Team Mangalore faced anxious moments during Monday’s bomb scare incident. Sarvesh Rao heaved a sigh of relief when none of the morning flights, departing from Mangaluru, was cancelled due to bomb scare. “The foreign kite flyers had connecting flights to catch in Bengaluru and Chennai,” he recollected. 

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