The photo in this Maclean’s article is titled “A ceremony at a checkpoint between Pakistani (left) and Indian border guards”. Does anyone know what kind of ceremony this is? It looks more like a re-enactment of last night’s brawl for the investigating officer, rather than any type of military ceremony I am familiar with.
Here’s a video showing the whole ceremony.
It’s part of the flag lowering ceremony. Yes, it is a certain bit of “I-kicked him in the goolies like this” in the ceremony and it’s on purpose. The whole ceremony is now a big nightly event that takes the animosity between two enemies and puts them into a non-violent display of rage and anger. There are cheering crowds on each side.
However, in the end, both color guards after preening around like a couple of cock fighting chickens are very careful to make sure that both flags are lowered at the same time and the gates are shut at the same time.
There’s also a similar ceremony between the Spanish and British guards at Gibraltar, but it’s not as wild.
I’ve actually been to this ceremony. it’s held on the border near Amritsar and Lahore. They do it nightly at the closing of the border.
When you enter (at least on the Indian side) there is kind of a carnival aptmosphere. Kids hawk popcorn and DVDs of the ceremony. Everyone is feeling festive. About what you’d expect at a sports match.
When they let you in, the bleachers fill up like a stampede. Everyone starts yelling and singing. Pop music fills the air. Flags are waving. There is a real feeling of electricity- it’s a contrast to the black and white clothes and dour music on the Pakistani side. As I recall, before the ceremony starts they bring a beautiful woman to go wave a huge flag right in front of the gate. Then the silly walks start. Everything looks like of comical- the bizarre uniforms, the whistles and horns, the shouts, and of course the absurd walks.
Then comes the climax, where they lower the flags. Each country tries to keep their flag just a little above the other’s, so it’s a stop-and-go give-and-take kind of process.
All in all, it’s a good time and a surreal way to experience one of the world’s tensest borders.
They do this every night? Insane. Simply insane. I have to witness this sometime. Why don’t we do anything like this in the US?
It’s called “football”.
I spilled a mouthful of water into the keyboard :D.
You win .
India is trying to prove that , they have the hunkiest soldiers in the region.
Pakistan is trying to prove that, they have the hunkiest soldiers in the region.
Citizens from both sides cheering as if the pride of the country is at stake. Absurd in today’s world , but it is a spectacle to watch .
Who shoud we do it with?
The Canadians? How can you get agressive with someone who is so damned polite?
Might work with the Mexicans, though …
“I got your flag lowering right here, ese!”
We’d do better to emulate the Indians & Pakistanis, and play “if dinner napkins could kill.”
Thanks for the info, qazwart and even sven. An obscure ceremony on the other side of the world, a midnight posting, and I still get two informed Doper answers within an hour.
Actually it is remarkably sloppy. Did you see the Pakistani Ranger falling into his mate? The guy who was late? (Yes, I am a retired officer, can you tell?)
One side of the other ought to hire a little confused old lady to do their bit just to reduce the other side to complete silliness.
The narrator (Michael Palin) was into this sort of thing decades ago: http://telewatcher.com/comedy/and-now-for-something-completely-different-the-ministry-of-silly-walks/
I have to say, I like absurdity a lot more than lobbing nukes at each other. Silly walks is a small price to pay for peace.