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Bill Brown View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 March 2006 at 17:10

I was reading about Pakistan banning kite flying because of deaths attributed to the use of glass coated string.  Just curious, is there any historical link between Brasilian and Pakistan kite flying?  Until reading about the ban in Pakistan, I thought only Brasil had the tradition of using glass coated string to cut opponents' lines.

Bill Brown
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Russell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Russell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2006 at 19:41
It's certainly not just in Brazil, I've heard of it in other kite competitions.
 
I heard that it was a problem for moped riders here in SP, as glass coated string stretched across a road isn't great for keeping your head on. Whether this is just a myth though I don't know...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billrio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2006 at 00:06
Unfortunately, I was witness (a little after the fact) to the result of a glass coated kite line in São Jose dos Campos. A "motoboy" was decapitated by one. If anyone sees a person flying a kite with gloves on, please call the policia militar immediately! (Same with incendiary baloons). Obrigado, Bill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Russell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2006 at 15:03
Ouch, so not a rumour then
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Bill Brown View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2006 at 15:23
Is use of the glass coated string illegal in SP?  I took a few photos of youths flying/battling kites with glass coated strings just outside the PM compound in Grajaú with many uniformed PM coming and going.  I was amazed to see one youngster coating string with ground glass using his bare hands.  Apparently, if there is a prohibition on using glass coated string, it's not enforced.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cariocaguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2006 at 17:54

"Apparently, if there is a prohibition on using glass coated string, it's not enforced."

Par for the course wouldn't you say!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote finance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2006 at 17:57
I could see how those coated lines could cause some nasty injuries in some unusual circumstances, but actual decapitation?!

I guess enough glass pieces in a strong nylon line could be pretty friggin lethal...
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Bill Brown View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2006 at 18:58

Here's the story about the Pakistan kite ban.  Arrests in Pakistan kite crackdown  It mentions that 7 people had been killed by the glass coated string in the run-up to the annual Basant festival.

I have spent some time in various countries around the globe, including Pakistan, but I missed seeing people engaging in kite combat.  Until visiting Brasil, I was unaware of the practice of coating kite string with glass.  Is this "sport" commonplace in other countries besides Brasil and Pakistan?  When I first saw the story about the ban in Pakistan I thought there was a Brasil-Pakistan kite flying enthusiasts link.

Bill Brown
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote finance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2006 at 19:21
Not sure if "kite Combat" is the right term.

Growing up in Brazil, I had many friends who would coat their kite strings with glass, climb up their house roofs and fly their kites.

Back then, the fun was to simply fly the kite. The kicker was to spot another kite and try to cut it and retrieve it. Some kids would keep count and even show their "winnings" for some good laughs. I was never a kite person, but my nighborhood was filled with kite flyers. Amazingly enough, I was never aware of any incidents, besides the usual disapointment when somebody lost a good kite that took hours to built...

The only injury concern I remember was to avoid the countless wires from the light posts. Again, that was easily remediated by climbing up on the roofs...
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Bill Brown View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2006 at 20:28
As a kid, I enjoyed trying to fly kites.  In my day, kite kits were sold for about $0.25 with thin paper and balsa wood.  I'd guess at least 80-90% of my kites were "eaten" by trees after brief flights.  We didn't have any competitions trying to down other kites.  We had enough trouble trying to get our kites airborne and away from trees.  Curse those kite eating giant perennial woody plants.
Bill Brown
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