Asko Parpola aparpola at gmail.com
Tue Oct 17 18:25:42 UTC 2023

Frembgen, Jürgen Wasim, and Paul Rollier 2014. Wrestlers, pigeon fanciers, and kite flyers: Traditional sports and pastimes in Lahore. New York: Oxford University Press. 192 pp., ill. 
In today's Pakistan the dominant conservative mindset tends to marginalize leisure activities. However, traditional sports and pastimes, games and play, entertainment and amusement are an expression of happiness and joy and an integral part of popular culture. They represent a cultural system and preserve cultural values.
The dimension of playfulness inherent in traditional sports and pastimes is clearly articulated in the culture of the Punjab in general and of Lahore in particular, especially in the Walled City. The popular pastimes selected for this study, namely wrestling, flying pigeons and kite fighting, are almost emblematic of the Walled City, an urban space where wrestlers, pigeon fanciers and kite flyers appear to be the veritable custodians of Lahori culture.
This is the first book that details these traditional sports and pastimes, which, the authors argue, form an integral part of social life in Pakistan and create important bonds between various communities.

Best wishes, Asko

> On 17 Oct 2023, at 19.17, Dániel Balogh via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> can anyone recommend (and perhaps share) any useful literature about kites in India? I mean the ones with a bamboo frame that you fly on a string, not the ones with feathers that fly themselves and eat rats. I'm mainly interested in general overviews, about the history of Indian kites and about kite flying, kite making and kite fighting in modern India, not so much in any narrowly specialised details, but anything is welcome. I've skimmed "A Kite Journey through India" by Tal Streeter and "A Different Freedom" by Nikita Desai, but the former is far more interested in anecdote than in checking and reporting any facts, while the latter, even while being a mine of interesting detail, seems to be by and large a haphazard and incoherent collection of poorly verified, often repetitive, usually incomplete, and sometimes contradictory factoids.
> In addition to generalities, I would be happy to learn if any of you have come across references (or possible references) to kites in Sanskrit, or in vernacular literature before the 16th century. For the former, I'm only aware of the Pañcatantra story about the wooden Garuḍa, which is more a flying machine than a kite. For the latter, I know about a verse by Nāmdev, but no others.
> Many thanks for any tips,
> Dan
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