Bizarrely Compelling Nightly Border Closure Ceremony at the India-Pakistan Border

There’s news about that Pakistan and India are having, or beginning to have, a thaw in relations and that reminded me of this strangely compelling nightly border closure ceremony involving both the Indian and Pakistani border guards at the Wagah Attari border crossing. Apparently this is how they close the border every day at the end of the day. It seems in some way almost fairy-tale like because the two sides, so hostile toward one another, are also so alike — right down to their uniforms, the peculiar strutting style of marching. It makes you wonder just how they got the choreography down so perfectly on both sides–and the whole thing carries with it a kind of ritualized mock hostility that makes you wonder what the real underlying emotions are.  It’s a hot tourist attraction as you can see from the fans, who sit in stands like they’re at a cricket match and react with delight to the point-counterpoint of the exhibition.  The whole thing is creepy and cool all at once.

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