The Week in Photos — India-Pakistan Border Ceremony

An open letter to Canada-US Border Control:

We have just witnessed the greatest show on Earth: the India-Pakistan border ceremony, otherwise known as the Beating Retreat ceremony. Perhaps you are familiar with the pomp, frenzy and overall spectacle that is the world’s most elaborate border closing ceremony. As loyal patriots, our question is this: what is the Canadian-US response?

Wagah is the only legal road crossing between the two countries. India and Pakistan share a 2,900 km border and 66 years of bad blood. Yet they come together every single day to put on a show worthy of its own Carnival style stadium. Two, actually. Bleachers flank the entry arches on both sides of the border.

The show is difficult to describe. All you really need to know is that the cancan kicks run higher than political tension, and the hats are ah-mazing. (An aside to any fashion bloggers in your department: these hats will be this year’s fascinators at hipster NYE parties).

Remember Steven Colbert’s high kick filled ode to Daft Punk’s summer anthem Get Lucky? The India-Pakistan Border Ceremony is essentially that set to a unique remix of Bollywood and military tunes.

If these two frenemies can choreograph a Radio City Music Hall caliber performance, surely North America’s BFFs have talent enough to spare for Niagara. At the very least it’s a talent show in the making.

We leave you with the words from Hollywood’s dance movie greats Bring it On 4 and Step Up 5. Bring it on NAFTA, it’s time to step up our border ceremony game. 


Natalie F. Purbrick & Clifford K. Pollard

Concerned Canadian and American citizens coming together in the name of holy shit, you have to see this.

The India-Pakistan Border Ceremony in Photos

India-Pakistan border ceremony patriotismIndia-Pakistan Border Crossing Ceremony face paintIndia-Pakistan Border Ceremony, Team IndiaGhandi and team India bring the heat

India-Pakistan Border Ceremony,Team PakistanTeam Pakistan has the fan presence of an Oakland A’s game

Before the official ceremony begins, school groups swarm the marching route for an epic dance party.

India-Pakistan Border Ceremony, School KidsBest. Field trip. Ever.

India-Pakistan Border Ceremony dancingBest. Old lady dance-off. Ever.

The crowd doesn’t need much encouragement, but the India-Pakistan border ceremony does have an official MC. Cliff tells me his name is Manute Bol.

India–Pakistan Border Ceremony MCNo one gets a party started like a 7 foot man in a white jumpsuit

 But don’t forget that this is actually serious business.

guarding the boardedGuarding the Indian border

on the marchThe tallest members of each country’s guard march head-on to meet at the border

lowering flag 2Each country ceremonially lowers its flag for the night

gateThe gate is ceremoniously closed for the night, high kicks and pivots abound, and the border is closed for the day 

The jubilant crowd disperses, but the show continues in billboard form on the walk back to India proper.

India–Pakistan Border Ceremony: The World's Largest Democracy Welcomes YouThe largest democracy in the world welcomes you

India–Pakistan Border Ceremony Coke Welcome_cokeAs does the largest brand in the world