The peak of dry season between July and August provides a perfect time for kite fliers, old and young, to easily release their kites to the clear sky of Jakarta thanks to the strong wind.
There is an open space near Jalan Muria in Menteng Atas, South Jakarta, where these kite enthusiasts can have the luxury of exerting their energy without obstacles like electricity poles and the traffic.
They gather at around 3.00 p.m., with serious fliers bringing the best of their kite collection. Newcomers join them after buying the gears at Hek Kite Shop, which has been in the business since 1994.
The shop in Halim, East Jakarta is arguably the only one in the city that specializes in this age-old hobby.
There is no organizer on the field but those kite fliers separate themselves into two groups to avoid an overcrowded circumstance, with children being kept in distance from adults who fly bigger kites at higher altitude.
Children fly smaller yet very agile kites that they call as “Sukhoi”, named after the Russian jet fighter. Sometimes the activity turns into a competition with a ‘dogfight’ in the sky -- two kites collide and the one that cuts off the string of its opponent emerges winner.
Adults are calmer as they fly bigger and artistic kites for a show. It takes skill and special equipment to fly those kites.