23 January 2005
To celebrate our festivals and keep up the implementation of our traditions in the families of the UK, the Bal-Balika Mandal of the Swaminarayan Sunday School in Neasden, London organised a grand kite festival for everyone to enjoy. Special kites and string was ordered from India as hundreds of people were expected to attend this fun-filled ‘family time’ festival.
Over 480 Bal-Balikas and Karyakars enjoyed the kite flying with their families. Many parents who were flying the kites were seen to be experts by everyone that attended. Many children had brought their own kites too. Some adults had come specially prepared with gloves, warm clothing and even special string to help compete against others. Families from all around London and the Swaminarayan Independent School had attended to participate and spent time with their children flying kites and strengthening bondages with their children.
Very few realised that they had been flying the kites for 2 hours until they saw their watches – 2pm!
Many were sad to leave as the ever-lasting 2 hours seemed to have gone by so quickly. But everyone had lots of fun. Many learnt how to fly a kite and some were for the first time realising that their fathers and mothers had such kite flying skills.
One father happily said, “This is the first time after 23 years that I enjoyed flying a kite and I actually felt as though I was back in India – 30 years ago! We would really like to thank all the Sanchalaks for organising it and eagerly await the same time next year! My children and I really loved it!”
At the end of the chilly afternoon as all the children left in their warm cars, they all remembered: “Even though we may be miles away from Bapa (kite) who is in India (sky), we are still close to him if we are observing his agna and niyams (string). And even though we may be really close to him, but if we are breaking our niyams then we will cut off our relation with him. So we should always remember to follow niyams so he is with us.”