From Good Neighbours Project
‘The children sprinted to and fro with delighted faces’: A springtime story from Harrogate about the healing power of a surprising hobby… kite-flying!
Harrogate District of Sanctuary welcomes people fleeing war and violence and helps them settle in to the local community.
Recently, they held a kite-making workshop for families from Afghanistan and other countries. Kite-making and flying is a big part of Afghan culture.
Organiser Pat Ki recounts her experience of the day.
‘March 20th this year was Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which is widely celebrated in the Middle East.
‘As we now have eight Afghan families, as well as thirteen additional families from Syria and Iraq.
‘I thought it would be appropriate to ask a kite maker to run a workshop for them all, as kite running is a big part of Afghan culture.
‘It was a hugely happy and successful day. Not only did our local families flock to the event, we were joined by an Afghan family of 12 from Skipton who brought a feast to share. They bought delicious rice with spices and saffron. Sixth formers from the Harrogate Ladies’ College also came along and enjoyed the event!
‘We had a kite-making room and another where parents and under-fives could play and socialise (the youngest being only 35 days old).
‘In all, 37 children and adults made kites and as the weather was fine on that day Alan (the kite-making teacher) and I took some of them to Harrogate Stray, our local park, to ‘run’ – or fly – the kites.
‘Alan brought one of his special kites , a large bird which soared high in the sky. All the kites flew perfectly so the children sprinted to and fro with delighted faces.