Friday, September 9, 2011

Hindustan!

Before this trip, I didn’t know that the Hindi name for India is Hindustan. So fitting, seeing as how the country is bordered by Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other –stan countries. I’ve always wondered why we don’t just call all countries by their native names? Why do we it Japan and not Nippon? I think it would make sense if everyone just learned the correct names.

But I digress.

Since Amritsar is only about 28km from the Pakistan border, Dana and I headed to the Wagha border one evening to witness the special border-closing ceremony between India and Pakistan.

Waiting in line to access the border area:
From K - India I


From K - India I


The stands starting to fill up:
From K - India I


The crowd on the Indian side of the border put the Pakistan side to shame.
From K - India I

From K - India I

Pakistan:
From K - India I


Rainbow Sikhs!

From K - India I


Indian women breaking it down with some Bhangra dancing:
From K - India I


Basically, soldiers from each country don old-fashioned uniforms with ridiculous hats and march around in a choreographed spectacle.

From K - India I


At the end of the “show”, a Pakistani and Indian soldier shake hands and the border is closed for the evening. They repeat this spectacle each night and it’s a huge draw for (mostly domestic) tourists.

From K - India I


From K - India I



It was definitely a cool sight – as foreigners we got great seats and I came closer to the Pakistani border than I’ll probably ever be.

From K - India I

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