Monday, June 29, 2009


In Chris's birthday post you saw about all you need to see of the border closing ceremony and the cozy confines of Amritsar's (the Punjab's?) only 5 star hotel.  

Just quickly though, I think its worth pointing out the differences between the Indian side

and the Pakistani side of the border.  

You can't really see in the photo, but the Pakistani side is gender segregated and the women are all wearing burquas.  And there is next to no one there.  Eerie, especially compared to the raucous Indians.  But I do have to admit that the Pakistanis had a much better marching and bugling routine, despite the low turnout.  

So we did the border crossing the evening we arrived and then the Golden Temple the next morning.  
Waking up 6ish was totally worth it and I found the place every bit as magical as everyone says it is.  Sikhism really interests me and the people we met at both the Golden Temple and the Delhi gurdwara were lovely and incredibly welcoming.  Without kids I would've loved to linger and just watch the whole scene unfold over the span of a day, exploring the kitchen and hospital as well as the temple complex, but with small bellies in tow we had to head to breakfast fa
irly quickly.  

On the way out I did snap a shot of the entrance to the communal kitchen, complete with inspirational sayings that reminded me of farmer friends back home.


Noorie said...


My name is Noorie. My husband has been awarded a lecturing Fulbright to Benaras Hindu University so our family will be moving to Varanasi in a month-August 1. I stumbled across your blog and hoped you might have a bit of insight or suggestions for me as a parent going to India with two young children (3 1/2 and 1).

My email is if you have time to talk/type?

Thank you, Noorie

Grandpa George said...

Hi Maggie,

Very interesting insights re the border ceremony. I think there was a larger crowd on both sides when Chris and I were there in 2002, but this was a period of heightened unrest between the 2 countries such that the US State Department was asking Americans to leave (as I remember).

I wonder now if the economic changes in the 2 countries has influenced such events. India has had much economic growth since 2002 such that some (Friedman and the observers in The Economist) keep writing about the growth of the middle-class and the spread of prosperity.

Also, I remember the great joy of being in the Golden Temple and the intense expressions of the Sikhs we were sitting with (Chris took a picture, but I can remember it today without seeing the copy).

If my dates are correct, Grampy should be there now. Say hi for me. I miss Ken and Mimi, as I know you must.