Sunday, September 30, 2007

Amritsar & Attari, Punjab, India: 18June07

The India-Pakistan Border "Show"

In the end, we decided to go to another Hindu holy city, Haridwar, instead of spend that much of time in Delhi. We got the train ticket then we moved to the free accommodation by Golden Temple. We roamed around the temple, took the free lunch and 'visited' the said, world biggest chapati machine. The temple has a very good ambient, even though it is crowded.

The border ceremony between Pakistan and India was very very dramtic. It was a kind of festive feel that both sides are trying to 'roar' down the other side. This is probably the highlight of my trip. We cheered and roared together with the Indian. Something like "India is the greatest nation." A ceremony which is supposed to be serious has somehow turn ut to become a public show. For me, it is a funny show too. (Try to imagine a platform at each side of Singapore and Malaysia causeway with thousands of people watching the soldiers lowering the flag.)

We met a young Indian couple on the way to go back from the border to the town. They got married themselves without the permissions from their parents and this is really unusual for Indian. We joint them to the temple of their caste and that was a really nice hindu temple. They invited us to join their honeymoon to Jammu but we decided to stick to our plan to Haridwar. Their honeymoon is a one week visit to different temples, hoepfully to have a better future and get blessing for their marriage.

We got back to the dirty free accommodation quite late. To my pleasant surprise, there were two Malaysian students were staying there as well. They were the second and third Malaysian that i have ever seen in India. They were here in India for some university exchange and social work. One at Delhi and another at Jaipur. i was happy to meet people from my country and speak in our national language!

Golden Temple is opens to all and no-one asks for any money, even for the shoe storage. We have to remov shoes, wash our feet and cover our heads.

All are welcome to sit on the floor and enjoy the lentil soup and chapati. The logic is, everyone is the same and there is no different in social level.

The kitchen where there is a chapati machine and where they prepare chaptais for around 30,000 pilgrims a day.

The platform and crowd for the border bravado.

After the gates are slammed shut, everyone surged to take photograph with the tall and handsome soldiers.

i do take pride as a Malaysian. This is the basic ethnic group to comprise Malaysia: Indian, Malay and Chinese.
(i put Harish and Hazwan's picture with me without informing them. :)

1 comment:

柏大衛 said...

Wow! you went to THE golden temple! Very nice!