Manja: A thread that cuts, but binds ties too
Kite flying may be a routine pass time in many states across India. But, for the Gujaratis, madness descends during Uttarayan — January 14. While for the rest of India Uttarayan ends on January 14, for the Gujaratis the inseparable sentiment takes a day more to get disentangled. The Gujjus celebrate January 15 as Vaasi Uttarayan (Stale Uttarayan). The people are so passionate about celebrating the kite festival that even many schools declare a holiday on January 15. The festival is also a major attraction for the tourists, who don’t take a step back when it come to flying kites.
WHO ARE THEY
The manja makers come to the state immediately after Diwali and set up their business, many from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. However, Uttarayan gives them an opportunity to make quick cash in a short time.
Most manja makers travel in groups of 5 to 10. Their temporary establishments often sit next to local manja makers and use the traditional method to sharpen the threads. While most of the local makers use an advanced method to make the a fast profit, many use machines to make the threads look more colourful and sell them like hot cakes.
Kite enthusiasts swear …read more