Amidst the various aspects that are used to promote Malaysia in the international tourism scene, kites have proved to be a genuine attraction to lure tourists to the country.
This was evident when Komunitikini conducted a survey at the recent Pasir Gudang International Kites Festival, which took place late last month at the coastal town in Johor.
Some 200-kite fliers from all over the world made Pasir Gudang their home during the festival, which took place from February 16 till February 20, with some of them even forming a catchy ‘the tarik group’.
“We loved the tarik so much that we decided to print out this T-shirt and form this group,” said Voluer Hoberg, who had taken the initiative to form the group.
The 32-year-old German decided to distribute the T-shirts to a group of international kite fliers who gather in a group to have the famous Malaysian drink ‘teh tarik’ during both the morning and evening.
“We are supposed to wear that T-shirt whenever we go out for teh tarik,” said a fellow kite-flier from England known as Mrs. Goodman.
However, the more striking aspect of this assortment of international characters is the fact that many of them have made coming to Pasir Gudang an annual habit.
Jan Alvares, an Australian woman, was participating in the festival for the 13th time.
“My husband and I come here every year. We have a kite-flying business back in Australia, but amidst all that, there is no major festival that we can go to, so it’s great pleasure to be here,” she said.
60-year-old Austrian Helmut Georgi echoed her thoughts.
“We have small kite festivals back in Austria, but it is more family oriented. We don’t have a field as big as you do here, and we don’t have as much participants,” said the man, who was participating for the tenth time here.
Eiji Ohashi, a Japanese, went even a step further by describing the Pasir Gudang festival to be the best in the world.
“Very good hospitality, very big field, and a very good wind,” he summed up the event.
The festival has been running since 1995, and has been renowned at large as the best kites festival organized worldwide.
It is organized by the Pasir Gudang Municpal Council (MPPG) along with the Johor state government and several other government bodies.