luni, 17 februarie 2014

Hindustan zindabad (Long Live India)

Sunday was a long day. We set off in the morning towards Amritsar, which is an old city by the border with Pakistan. It is a place of major importance, not only because it is the administrative headquarters of the state of Punjab, but also because it is center of the Sikh religion, housing the majestic "Golden Temple".

We had a horse-pulled ride from the parking lot towards the temple

We removed our shoes, washed our hands and feet, covered our heads with a scarf and entered. The view was absolutely astonishing.

The water surrounding the temple found in the middle is called "holy nectar" and is supposed to have healing powers. There is continuous singing in the background, which I later saw was in fact reading from the holy book of the Sikh. We walked around and learned more about the symbolism of the sights, like the 2 orange poles signifying religion and politics. Afterwards, we waited in a very long line to enter and see the holy book (the last of the gurus) and the temple. Many people bowing and praying.

Finally we had "langar" - which is basically vegetarian food at a canteen, that is for free. All visitors can eat, as equals. The process itself was extremely efficient, there are huge rooms that fit about 500 people. Food was served very fast, from buckets and in 20 minutes we were in and out, to make place for the next batch. There was a huge staff that prepared food, provided and took the plates, washed them, etc

We went back to the bus and headed towards the Waga border to see the lowering of the flag. It is ceremonial moment, each day, when sunset comes and the flag is lowered both by India and Pakistan at the same time. It's more of a show, as each party tries to show that it is great and powerful and a potential threat if it needs to be :)  I guess the movies will speak for themselves. One phrase I remembered - Hindustan zindabad !!

Niciun comentariu:

Trimiteți un comentariu