[Off-Topic Sunday on a Wednesday]
It is the 70th anniversary of the partition of India, when the British Empire finally handed back the nation to its people, but, without going into it too deeply, still managed to cause a deep and hideously brutal outcome, by splitting the region into India and Pakistan, with Bangladesh to follow with its own independence in 1971. Because of Britain's huge involvement, the BBC news has been reporting from the region all week.
The tension between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers, is extreme with regular, largely unreported, action along the borders and in disputed regions, like Kashmir. So it was surprising to catch a glimpse of the closing of the border ceremonies, that take place at certain borders, on the nightly news. I had to see more. The action is the perfect blend of super-machismo and pantomime that floats my boat.
I was left with dozens of questions, some of which...
How did those uniforms develop and how have they survived the onslaught of modernity?
Just watching all that stamping gives me shin splints. What injuries do they sustain?
The video below, with the high kicking, do the troops get chosen because they can high kick, or do they force themselves to learn. Or... can all Indian and Pakistani troops kick like a Tiller Girl.
Who started all this peacocking, and when?
Has anyone pulled a move, during one of the ceremonies, deem to be a step, or high kick, too far?
Being overly simplistic and uncharacteristically optimistic, if all border tensions could be diffused by dance-offs the world would be a better place.