The Wagah Border Closing Ceremony


At the town of Wagah, a major road crosses the border between India and Pakistan. Every evening at sunset, they hold a ceremony to officially close the crossing for the night. Soldiers from both countries come out, lower the flags, strut and salute, then close the gates on each side of the border. The ceremony is highly choreographed, and a crowd gathers every night to watch -and cheer for their country, although they are admonished not to say anything bad about the other nation. The high-stepping, stylized show is a tradition built on the idea of one-upmanship: who can step the highest and scowl the fiercest? The border security forces of India and Pakistan have been doing the Beating Retreat ceremony since 1959.

 

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