Cape Town Int'l Kite Festival features Chinese dragon dance
CAPE TOWN, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese dragon dance was featured prominently at the 25th Cape Town International Kite Festival which came to a close on Sunday with the participation of hundreds of kite flyers from around the world.
This has been the biggest kite festival in Africa since 1994, with the display of incredible kites in support of Cape Mental Health which is dedicated to people suffering from mental problems in Cape Town.
But it was for the first time that the Chinese community in Cape Town presented the dragon dance at the festival.
"Our dragon dance was warmly welcomed by the organizers," said Dong Gang, director of the Cape Town Chinese Artistic Troupe.
The dance not only added to the amusement of the audience but also presented an opportunity for the local people to get a taste of the Chinese culture, Dong said.
"How wonderful it was to enjoy the display of so many colorful kites and watch the dragon dance at the same time," said Craig Pienaar, a middle school teacher.
He said it was the first time for him and his two kids to see Chinese dragon dance.
"We're so exited for this first experience," Pienaar said.
The two-day festival attracted more than 50,000 visitors, and kite flyers participating in the event included some of the biggest names in kiting in South Africa and the world who displayed their magnificent kite creations, organizers said.
"We are celebrating 25 years of flying kites to raise awareness about mental health," said Ingrid Daniels, Director of Cape Mental Health. "When you look at a beautiful kite in the sky you can only but have hope. Our kites soar against adversity and the strong winds of the storm, and you've got the strength to anchor yourself down when lives storms come your way."
Daniels cited statistics as saying that every 40 seconds someone with mental problems dies by suicide in South Africa.
This year's event placed emphasis on support, for free, for the disadvantaged communities who cannot afford mental health care, he said.
At the event, a Hope Station was set up for visitors to put a "Message of Hope" on the tail-end of a kite string to give hope to anyone who has mental difficulties.
"We want to save lives; we want to say 'Hold on to the string', there is an anchor and people who can help you during difficult times," Daniels said.
Cape Mental Health provides mental health support in underprivileged communities where people can't afford to pay for mental health services.
"We want to offer that free of charge to everyone, because every life has potential," said Daniels. "For us, the kite really is the symbol of hope. The symbols of saying "nothing can pull you down, because if a fragile kite can soar against difficult wind, why can't we?"
So the Cape Town international kite festival is a great moment for everyone to forget about their worries and burdens, he added.