March 25, 2007 | By More

cometa / kite, Arraial d'Ajuda

It is nearly impossible to travel around Brazil and not come across the comings and goings of kites, the favourite passtime of young and adolescents in the deprived areas of the country. Many of those kites are home made, and slice through the skies searching for another kite to fight a duel. Kite battles are and art. The kite needs to move in such a way that can cut the string of the rival kite while at the same time avoiding a similar fate for itself.

The sinister side of the seemingly harmless passtime is called cerol, a mixture of glue and crushed glass. Although its use is banned, many people smear the string of the kite with cerol turning it into a deadly blade. Dozens of people had died after having their throats cut by the cerol-smeared string. Most victims are motorcyclists. Often the kite that looses a duel ends up falling near a street or motorway, becoming a deadly trap. Quite a lot of motorbikes have now an antenna with a small blade at the top end to help cut a string in case the motorcyclist encounters one while moving at a speed.

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Category: Typical Brazilian

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