A daily border closure showcasing India-Pakistan rivalry

The Wagah-Attari border ceremony: the most surreal military act in the world

Military ceremonies are a compendium of the military traditions of a country. Sometimes they are very beautiful and exciting, and sometimes they are...unspeakable.

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A military ceremony that is particularly surreal is the one that takes place daily on the border between the town of Attari (in India) and Wagah (Pakitan). There is a great rivalry between the two countries, and that has ended up being reflected in a daily act of closing borders in which Pakistani Rangers and the Indian Border Security Force participate.

In this act, both Indians and Pakistanis try to show that they are the best when it comes to parading , in some cases raising their legs to an extreme that would cause fear in any ballet dancer. Among the expressions of rivalry exhibited by soldiers on either side are, for example, raising their fists high and stroking their mustaches (the soldiers chosen for this position usually have beards and mustaches).

It is, of course, a showy act that attracts a large audience, who attend the pirouettes of the troops amid applause and other gestures of admiration. For the eyes of any foreigner, the act is, without a doubt, purely surreal. Of course, leaving aside the rivalry between the two countries, every day this act is completed with a handshake hands between an Indian officer and a Pakistani officer, as a gesture of friendship and respect. Here we can see a video of this act published last year by the Japanese channel Saiyu Travel on Youtube:

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