In these troubled, complicated times, doesn’t the pure and simple joy of flying a kite seem appealing? Although it was but a brief part of a heavily choreographed state visit, it’s nice to think the leaders of the world’s second and fourth largest countries felt their heavy burdens lighten a bit as they tugged at those kite strings.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Indonesia yesterday for a three-day state visit. Today, he and President Joko Widodo attended the opening of the India-Indonesia Kite Exhibition at the National Monument (Monas).
As you can see in the above video, the kites were already in flight when Jokowi and Modi receive their strings, meaning unfortunately no shots of them running up and down the fields of Monas giggling while trying to get their kites aloft.
Modi did have a moment of near kite catastrophe when his looked ready to fall from the sky, but he managed to save it with a few strategic pulls on his chord, earning the crowd’s applause.
Jokowi and Modi are expected to discuss other, weightier issues than kites during the Indian PM’s visit, including bilateral trade, intelligence sharing and security cooperation. One specific issue on the table is India’s plans to develop a seaport in Aceh, which would support both India and Indonesia’s larger economic and infrastructure partnership strategies in the region aimed at countering China’s hegemonic influence. But kites first.