Ministry of Silly Walks - In Real Life

For those not familiar with the original Monty Python sketch titled “Ministry of Silly Walks”, click here for some relevant background.

For those already well-versed in Monty Python, click here for the real life version, as portrayed in a formal Indo-Pakistani border closing ceremony, conducted every evening at sunset. You have never seen professional soldiers yell so loudly, dress so flamboyantly and move so ridiculously, all while keeping absolutely straight faces as they perform their required duties with flawless precision.

After all the laughing (on my part), the cross-border handshake at 2:23 did give me a warm fuzzy feeling. :slight_smile:

There are a number of videos on Youtube about the ceremony, including one from a travel show narrated by Michael Palin. If his description is accurate, then the entire ceremony is a ritualized display of contempt, a way to convey a hearty “fuck you” to your counterparts on the other side of the border without any bullets actually being fired.

Palin’s travel show segment is here. The video quality isn’t as good as my first link, but the narration is informative. Interestingly enough, Michael Palin was not only one of the original Monty Python players, he was actually one of the two actors appearing in the original “Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch I linked to above. :smiley:

There’s a Wikipedia article about the border city and that ceremony. From that article:

An article (reference 24 in above paragraph) here about the toning down of the ceremony, with much more detail.

Very interesting. :cool:

This is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. Two countries with sour relations get together and cooperatively plan a carefully coordinated ceremony to display how much they hate each other. The whole idea is almost like something from a Monty Python sketch!

What if there was a silly walks contest, and nobody came? :smiley:

I’ve seen this ceremony on television before, but the walks were considerably less silly. In the one I saw, they just sort of goose-stepped to the line and then stomped their feet at each other.

Here is another thread .

One of my favorite example of silly walk /silly attire in military tradition is the change of the guard in Athens

The legacy of the British Empire.

Damn! :smack: I searched the board for “India” before posting; I guess I didn’t look far enough down the list of results.

Why can’t Americans and Canadians do something like this? This is just too cool.

We don’t hate each other enough to make such fools of ourselves to express the hate. Full disclosure, I have citizenship in both countries. If we did hate each other that much, I’d have to walk funny all the time. That would be a real bummer:smack: