Before the official ceremony, tons of Indians flock the grandstands, and many of them line up for the opportunity to "run" the Indian flag back and forth the area. Then, about 15 minutes before the ceremony starts, they start blasting popular Indian songs, and anyone (mainly women and children) can dance along in front of the crowd. When the official ceremony starts, a squad of guards stomps out into the border area, parading up and down as dramatically as possible. One of the guards is on a loud speaker and yells "Hindustan" while the crowd replies "Zindabad!" (Long live India!) The gates to Pakistan are then flung open, and guards from both sides shake hands and salute each other, while the flags of both countries are simultaneously lowered and folded. The gates then slam shut and the border is closed for the night.
Kim and I really enjoyed the ceremony, even in the 100+ degree weather. It was interesting and moving to see the national pride Indians have for their country, and a bit hopeful to see how to countries who so openly despise each other can come together for such a silly and entertaining event, everyday.
Every late afternoon, guards and spectators gather at the India-Pakistani border to officially "close" it down. Many, many Indians gather, while Pakistan's side is a bit more sparse, to see this border closing and flag lowering ceremony. So naturally, we had to check it out.