Tuesday 17 September 2019

Kite festival of diversity brightens capital’s skies

The blue skies over Valletta’s Triton Fountain were punctuated with colour this morning as some 200 children descended on the square to fly their kite as part of the second Kite Festival.

Organised by the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, in collaboration with the China Cultural Centre in Malta and MUŻA (the Malta National Community Art Museum), the festival forms part of the foundation’s goal towards inclusion, peace-building and the celebration of diversity.

Opened by President Emeritus and MFWS chair Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, this colourful event sees the return of master kite builder Mr Guo Hongli, who is in Malta to teach schoolchildren how to build kites, as part of the foundation’s goal towards inclusion, peace-building and the celebration of diversity.

Ms Coleiro Preca said: “This second edition of the Kite Festival is aptly taking place during the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, where Article 31 highlights the right of children to play and to participate fully in cultural and artistic life.”

Kite-flying was originally used for military purposes, to send signals or messages, test wind, and measure distances. It was not until the Song Dynasty (960–1279) that kite-flying rose to popularity as a means of art and recreation, spreading to neighbouring countries across the sea and along the Silk Road, eventually reaching Western Europe. 

Mr Guo is an expert in the research and production of kite handicrafts from China’s Shandong Province prefecture-level city of Weifang, which enjoys an unparalleled reputation as “the cradle of kites” and “kite capital of the world”. 

Mr Guo’s demonstrations and workshops have enriched understanding of traditional Chinese kite culture and enhanced bilateral artistic exchanges in many corners of the world.

Ms Coleiro Preca said Mr Guo’s workshops in Malta would give children the opportunity to learn more about this ancient Chinese tradition, while engaging in interactive play with their peers.

During his stay in Malta, Mr Guo and his team will visit five schools and also give a Kite-Making DIY Workshop. To reserve a spot at this free workshop contact the China Cultural Centre on 2122 5055 or [email protected].

Kites will also be on display in the public areas of MUŻA, Merchants Street, Valletta, until Friday, May 24.

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