Ostia (Rome) : 400 Afghan kites in the sky of Ostia say no to intolerance, approaching peoples and cultures
12 July 2009
In the afternoon of Sunday 12 July, the sky of Ostia has been populated of colors: more of 400 kites took the flight, thanks to the expert hands of an Afghan group of youngsters that, on invitation of "Peace People" and of the Community of Sant'Egidio, have offered to many people the possibility to participate the "Party of the Kites", ancient popular Afghan tradition, turned into a chance of meeting and exchange of cultures and peoples.
About one thousand persons of every age - from children with their mommies, to the young, to the elderly, curious to see this peculiar show - welcomed with enthusiasm the invitation and the touristic port of Ostia became theater of a true and actual experiment of "civilization of coexistance".
For the young Afghans, many of whom are refugee, the party represented the possibility of practicing an activity that in Afghanistan is so popular to have become a symbol of the national culture, forbidden for years, that has a deep meaning of longing to freedom.
For many Italians of all ages, it has been an opportunity to know directly the situation of the refugee, understanding including in a simple waythe cultural riches that the immigrants bring with themselves.
For all, an afternoon that showed the beauty of the "society of living together".
Great success among the children has had the area where the kites - under the expert leadership of the Afghans - were built with simple means: flexible sticks and plastic bags, then personalized with tags in pharsi and pashtun (the languages most used in the country).
It was also possible to visit some stand with photographs and movies on Afghanistan and a show on emigration and immigration in Italy, realized by the Community of Sant'Egidio and by the Cultural association of the Afghans in Italy, organizers of the event.
The day has ended with a musical show that saw, besides the Afghan dances, also the contribution of the Philippine group Holy Family Chorale, music and dances from Africa and from Brazil, the young band of the "Cousins of Giuseppe" : many different manners to express a friendship and possible cohabitation against fear and intolerance.