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Keeping tradition alive

tpetstmatthewskitesChildish screams, whistling, singing kites and the crashing sounds of frames smacking the ground created the scene at Friendship Cricket Ground this morning.

It was the school’s inaugural kite flying day, which was the brainchild of Acting Principal Deborah Waithe-Jones, who explained that she thought the history and culture associated with kite making and kite flying were being lost and children needed to learn more.

“This is our culminating event centred around the Easter festivities and what is also cultural for Barbadians, which is the making of kites. We found that it was a dying art, and for many of the children it came down to you go into a store, you find the kite you want, you go and fly the kite.

“We wanted to bring the artform back, so we got a guy to come in and he would have done two workshops with teachers and some upper juniors and taught them how to paste kites. So people like me, we learnt how to paste kites for the first time,” she said, adding that she too was one who would purchase a kite already made.

The experience was so good, she said, that several of the children made their kites and entered the competition hosted by the school. Students were awarded in the Original category, won by Mikael Yearwood for his Elections In De Air; Smallest category won by Kemalli Holder and Most Colourful, won by Keishanna Lewis for her Easter-themed creation, explained chief judge Shawn Hoyte.

Several parents came out to help their children fly kites, which included small ones, large ones, bat kites, princess kites, and a host of other beauties.

A group of Class 4 students took shelter from the sweltering sun under a sugar apple tree with their teacher and watched others, between their own forays to fly their own creations or purchases.

The only box kite of the day, made by 10-year-old Jen√e McCaskie-Jones and her dad Algernon Jones, was a beauty in the air, though Algernon remarked that while it flew well the wind sent it crashing to the ground, its frame broken. (LB)

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