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Kite fighting (and the running of kites) has been a popular sport in Afghanistan for more than a century. Kite flying has been a popular sport since it was first originated in China nearly 3000 years ago; the ancient Greeks were also flying kites as early as 400 B. C. Kite flying is one of the most popular sports in Afghanistan, and it is particularly popular in India and Pakistan. There are many different types of kite flying competitions--those in the U. S. differ greatly from those in The Kite Runner. The practice of cutting kites is assisted by the crushed glass and glue that is applied to the string, creating a sharp edge that cuts opponents' strings when attacked. The running of kites, in which the flyer's partner chases losing kites that have been cut, is also a long-standing practice. It is considered somewhat dangerous, since several deaths occur each year from falling (from buildings and trees where the kite has landed) and from accidents that occur due to the runners' inattentiveness to oncoming traffic and other obstacles.
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