The first in the Russian Far East festival of kite-flying "Ussuri Dragon" will be held on Friday on the bank of the Amur in Khabarovsk, said Vladimir Bodagov, director of the Edelweiss Khabarovak physical culture and sports club for the rehabilitation of physically handicapped people.
The festival is organized by the paraplane and kiting federation of the Far Eastern region and the Edelweiss club. They get active material support from commercial organizations. "The aim of the festival," said Bodagov, "is to give a start to the development of this sport in the Russian Far East, a sport that is very popular in Japan, China and other countries. And also to help at least somehow people confined to wheelchairs get diverted from their solitude, and to give them access to the type of sport they can take part in." The festival began with the demonstration of Kondor, Feya and Drakon kites in flight. At the same time experienced instructors are teaching handicapped people how to get kites started and pilot them.
The festival will be crowned by a charity action -- the transfer of piloted kites to the Edelweiss rehabilitation club.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.