"We don't want to sell the Chinese kites and manjhas (kite string) but most kids insist on them," said Ramesh Kumar, a kite-seller in Sector 15, Noida. "When there is a demand, we have no choice but to supply it."
Despite anti-Chinese sentiments, there is no stopping made-in-China items, as NCR residents continue to buy and fly Chinese kites, never mind it's the Indian Independence day we are celebrating.
Vibrant colours and attractive patterns draw kids towards the Chinese kites
But why do the kids want the Chinese kites and manjhas so bad?
The Chinese manja is made of plastic, and it is impossible to tear it with your hands. It is sturdier than the Indian version — something we seldom say about Chinese products. The kites are made of plastic too. But while the Indian kites feature plain designs such as the tricolour or block colours, the Chinese ones are attractive to look at — featuring Doraemon or Tom & Jerry or some other attractive, vibrant design. Irresistible, if you are a pre-teen wanting to flaunt a new kite.
Cartoons like Tom & Jerry and Doraemon often feature on the Chinese kites
While a 1,000-m roll of the Indian manjha costs anywhere between Rs 300 and Rs 600, the Chinese ones come for a fixed price of Rs 350. The Indian kites come in two types — paper (price range: Rs 2.50 to Rs 25) and plastic (price range: Rs 2.50 to Rs 70). Chinese kites are only made of plastic and cost somewhere between Rs 2.50 and Rs 12.
A kite seller holds up a Chinese manjha with the two Indian variations in the background
This means buying the best quality Chinese kite is much cheaper than buying the best quality Indian kite. The Chinese ones do have an edge over the Indian ones. They are more economical, glitzier and more durable. Having said that, the Indian kites are no less when it comes to performance, say the kite sellers.
Now doesn't that make sense? Buy Indian. Fly Indian.
Preferably, pick the ones with the tricolour