Kaftar Bazi or Play of Pigeons is a favorite past time of many Central Asians. In Tehran however it takes on a whole new meaning. It is generally associated with gambling, intoxicating substances and gang activity and therefore more or less banned in many areas. However there are many people who don’t fit the stereotypes and take up Kaftar Bazi as a hobby perhaps for their deep love of birds or just for the meditative experience of watching the flock dance up in the sky.
Kaftar Bazi is far from a simple hobby. Its a complex culture with a history dating back hundreds of years. To be a true bird keeper one needs to immerse an in dept study about the birds and how to breed and maintain them. It takes years to rear a healthy flock. Then the rules and the language of the game must be learnt. Only then one stand a chance in one of the annual championships.
Tehran ( December 2012 – Ongoing)