Amritsar, the capital city of the Punjab state, is famous for three things: The Golden Temple, the ceremony at the Pakistan border and food.
The food absolutely lives up to its reputation. Everything has butter and/or ghee (clarified butter) in it — even the lassi (yoghurt drink, like a milkshake but with yoghurt). Probably not the healthiest food around, but damn if it isn’t good.
The Golden Temple
The Border Ceremony
Every day at 4:30 pm, the security forces at each side of the Pakistan- India border engage in a fun, extremely loud lowering of the flag ceremony. Each side plays music as loud as they possibly can as the crowd gathers into the stands to watch the antics. An MC riles the crowd up, a group of women dances on the tarmac. It reminds me a lot of the pep rallies you see in American movies about high school and football. The guards take turns yelling into the microphone — each side tries to outdo the other in volume and duration. And then the guards from both sides do an exaggerated march towards the gate and gesticulate at each other. The guards on the India side were kicking their legs up so high during the march that they kicked themselves in the head. It’s like watching a Marx Brothers sketch.
It baffles me that just three days ago, further north along the border, in Kashmir, there was a fatal attack on the Indian side by Pakistani militants.
But that’s India for you.