2gather We Fly

by KARYL TEO . November 21, 2010


Is that a bird? Yes, it is.

Is that a plane? Yes, that too.

Is that Superman? Nope, it’s actually Spider-man!!

Thankfully, we were not in a cross fire between DC comics and Marvel comics. Then again it would be quite a sight to see Superman and Spidey in a sticky situation!


This was the sky of Yishun Avenue 9, at a big open space, on a beautiful 06th November, Saturday afternoon at 3pm.

“2gather We Fly,” the combined effort of Nee Soon East CCC and Evangel Family Church, repainted the neighbourhood’s skyline, for what would have been another regular Saturday.

There were kites of all sorts:
Classics: big diamond, small diamond, multi-coloured diamond, simple solid colour diamond.

Land creatures: dog, panda, gecko, something-that-i-can’t figure-out.
Air creatures: eagle, bat, bird.

Fictional: Doraemon, mermaid, the same something-that-i-can’t figure-out.

Favourite: Spider-Man!! (Not difficult to guess)

It was spectacular and exciting to see the kites conquering higher altitudes. But the real sight to behold was at ground level if you could tilt your lens down to the ground level with me. The people that were navigating the kites were more diversified than that of the sky. We had people from all walks of life- senior citizens, retired, grown-ups, going-to-be-grown ups, junior and the super juniors. Regardless of race, language, religion and nationality! All sharing a piece of the same blue sky in harmony.

At one noticeable corner, there were people whose heads were tilted down, very focused and totally oblivious of what was happening in the sky.  They were the participants of the Kite Painting competition. Each team consisted of two members from a family unit who participated in painting a paper kite. The theme for the kite painting competition was “Family Bonding!”

There was a wide range of family combinations- spouses, parent & child, grandparent & child, siblings, auntie/uncle & nephew/ niece. They totally demonstrated the Family Bonding theme, physically and metaphorically.

I was quite amused when I overheard someone said “ How to fly a kite ah?”

I remember when I was a kid, no one taught me how to fly a kite. There wasn’t any lesson nor a How to fly a kite for Idiot book for guidance and neither could I “Google” or “YouTube” it. We just knew how, because everyone did. If you have a caring elder sibling, he might teach you a trick or two. If not (doesn’t mean your sibling is not caring, he was probably too occupied with getting his to take flight), then the saying – failure, is the mother of success, will eventually come true. It is really no rocket-scientist formula, just sheer hard work! Simple faith, accompanied by umpteen times of trying, and trying, and more trying, viola! Up it goes! I was not joking when I said that the historic moment was more gratifying than watching Apollo 11 launched for the Moon.

Peculiarly, the fondest memories I had about kites were not those that were flown, but those that were made. Most kites in the earlier days were DIY with rice papers & thin bamboo sticks put together. Due to the intensity of effort, it made no sense to make just one or two. So gathering all the siblings and neighbour’s children to make the effort more worthwhile is rather common. I was impressed that at such a young age, we fully understood the theory of economic efficiency!

Now, I don’t quite recall the many different designs of kites I had made. But what remained vivid to me were the people whom I made kites with- my parents, siblings, neighbours and friends. The moments we spent together cutting, gluing, tying, and painting, to put our flying objects together. The laughters, friendship, and bonding with family and friends were knitted unknowingly through these kite-making sessions.

Looking at the different families represented here dawned on me that these residents of Yishun were doing exactly that- family bonding, which seems to be a forgotten aspect of human relationships. I was pretty sure they would have something else to do if they chose not to be here. But they were here with their family, painting kites and flying kites, laughing and bonding.

The drizzle visited us but was not strong enough to dampen the enthusiasm of the residents. It actually came just in time so everyone could take a breather to welcome our Guest-of-Honour Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee who launched the “2gather We Fly” official kite.

The climax of the event was crowning the winner of the painting contest. Though they did not know how to fly a kite, boy can they paint! The kids had real talent in reproducing everyone in their family onto a paper kite! (The top 3 prizes were painted primarily by the kids, while the parent assisted!)
Everyone went home a winner. Not that everyone won a prize, but the time they spent bonding with their family was priceless. And for the juniors who did not yet understand this insight, they went home with a yummy goodie bag each.

Whether it be a kite or 风筝 or layang layang to you, come and fly it, if not with us,  do fly it with someone.

So the next time someone tells you to go fly kite, invite him and say- “2gather we fly!”