JOHOR BARU: The hot weather and dry spell may be unbearable to some but kite enthusiasts at the 19th World Kite Festival here were unfazed by the heat.
Ron Bohart, 73, from Portland, Oregon in the United States, said that on the contrary, he enjoyed the hot weather.
“This is pretty much similar to the Summer season back home and the only difference is that the wind is stronger here, which is good news for us kite flyers,” he said when met during the festival recently.
Bohart, who has been flying kites for more than 10 years and picked up the hobby after he retired as a commercial artist, said that it was his first time participating in the event and he loved mingling with like-minded people.
“We kite flyers take whatever the sky gives us and work with the weather so it does not matter if it is hot, gloomy, windy or when there is very little wind, we will find ways to fly our kites,” he said.
Another kite enthusiast Wang Fan, from Beijing, China, said that the weather was the complete opposite from his hometown, which was currently snowing.
“This weather is considered good for kite flyers because the wind is strong and the sunny sky is a beautiful backdrop against the colourful kites,” said Wang, who owns an advertising firm in China.
Johorean Zaid Abu, 58, who has been participating in the festival since its inception, said that the wind was slightly challenging for him this year.
“The wind is stronger this time round despite the heat, which is great for big kites and those with smaller kites will find it more difficult to control their kites,” he added.
Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar officially launched the annual five-day event that began on Feb 19, that had more than 1,000 local and international participants from 40 countries.
The event, themed Wind Garden, was not affected by the heat as kite enthusiasts showcased colourful and eye-catching traditional and modern kites that were unique to their respective culture.