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Dancing at the Pakistan Border

USA | Monday, 23 March 2009 | Views [486]

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My last day in Amritsar I went to the Pakistan Border. Each day the border has a closing ceremony that is set up for a large audience to see. I went with 8 Indians and on the way stopped at a bizarre Hindu temple that is set up like a McDonalds play land. You walked through narrow caved water ways, turned corners that opened up into intricate detailed mirrored mosaic Gods and you climbed through caves and drank holy water and ate sweets. Blessings received! We also stopped at the Hindu’s version of the golden temple – definitely not as impressive but blessings available there as well.

 

We got to the border, or 1 km from it, and walked our way to the ceremony. When we arrived we were told to go to the women section. I was tickled with the scene that was created around this daily event. There were bleachers set up facing the India section of the road that leads to the border gate. I felt as if I was at a homecoming football game as the crowd cheered and chanted for their country and India’s top 40 songs were playing over the loud speaker. Children from schools were running the large India flag back and forth and a talk host was getting the crowd cheering and screaming and showing their country pride. There were at least a thousand people there, and this goes on everyday! You could look down the road and see and hear the same event happening on the Pakistan side. It was as if India was chanting “we have spirit yes we do, we have spirit how about you!” and Pakistan was responding!!!!! The best was that girls from the bleachers started to come down to the road and dance. It only took me about 5 minutes or so until I couldn’t sit anymore and I joined in the Bollywood India hip hop dance party and gleamed at embraced the unique moment of dancing at the border of Pakistan and India with beautiful Indian Women whom were mostly dressed like high school girls. What a great way to be ending my travels!!!!

 

The long ceremony began which involved 6 soldiers from each side who had a unique march to do. One by one the did their march and holler to the gate a did a routine with a rope attached to the flag. After all 12 soldiers did their act, the then did some demonstrations around the flag and gate. One by one. And then, one by one each soldier did their galloping marching chanting dance back to their original posts. It was quite a performance.

 

The day ended with eating street food that was shoved in my mouth by my tour companions and lots of recognition from people in Amritsar who saw me dancing! I took myself out to a meal in the city – had dosas a favorite of mine from the south, circled the perimeter of the golden temple and gave thanks for all my blessings, bought my nephew a sword then rested my head one last night in the dorms and got up at 4 am to catch the train to Delhi. In constant motion…….

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