Saturday, August 29, 2015

Indo-Pak Border Retreat Ceremony

This evening we went to see the border closing ceremony at the only land border crossing on the long India-Pakistan border. It's only a few km west of Amritsar, and is a major tourist attraction on both sides. It is so popular that both sides have set up spectator stands stands to view the pomp and one-upsmanship. The whole evening has the vibe of a football game between traditional rivals -- right down to the half-time show and cheerleaders ginning up the crowd. The major difference being that a double gate sits at the 50-yard line.
The bleachers for viewing on the India side.
The women's section on the Pakistani side. There were probably three times as many men in similar bleachers across the road, but I couldn't get a good photo of them.
Each side has their own gate at the border.
Both sides are blaring music, and the crowds are cheering, as each side tries to outdo the other in sonic volume. Ear plugs recommended!
Border goose-stepping to the gate to confront the other side. Their counterparts on the Pakistani side are doing the same thing.
Waiting for a turn to approach the border.
The best photo I got of the Pakistani border guards.
Both flags are lowered simultaneously.
The flags crossing each other as they are lowered.
There are a few more flags that are also lowered simultaneously with the two at the border.
  When the flags are down, the gates are closed for the night and everyone goes home.  

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