During the ceremony, hundreds of people from both countries watch as the military units prepare and march to the sound of drums and bugle. The people from India are livelier and scream the name of their nation while displaying other representations like miniature flags.
For a number of people, the practice confirms which side the people are on. The event also gathers a lot of people from other countries. Some believe that the ceremony is only a way to show the other country how powerful their military force is. In the past, the two sides already battled and are actually facing another potential war after over six decades of ceasefire.
The troops from India and Pakistan wear hats that have a crested tip. They also do other things to try and intimate the opposing side, such as speaking or yelling at a microphone, marching and reforming their troops and raising their rifles and fists.
At times, the exchange can be very imposing. The forces will stomp their feet as hard as possible. The sound created can be scary at times because of the large number of soldiers marching at the same time. Some of them might even suffer from muscle pain due to the strenuous practice. India has been aggressive in the past several years, although Pakistan is not backing down as well.
The relationship between the two nations is evident just by witnessing the ceremony at Wagah. In 2008, a number of Indians went to the border to scream at the other side for the Pakistani-led attacks. The two sides are constantly waging a mental battle against each other.
The relationship between India and Pakistan also showcases a family story. Anita Devi will be teary-eyed on certain occasions whenever she remembers her family. Her people were compelled to move from the opposite end for over six decades. As for the holiday, people generally come closer and take photos. They also listen to songs about India and Pakistan.
Between the two countries, people can only go through via Wagah, which links both big Punjab cities – Lahore and Amritsar. Although there is access, only a few people would dare travel that way. In 2006, goods were transported via the Wagah step.
The two sides do not communicate much. People in India tend to sell duty-free items like alcoholic beverages. However, the bottles are taken once the person reaches Pakistan, since there is illegal there.
There are also business owners that maintain good relationships for trade purposes regardless of their location between the two countries. They will charge a fee on passengers since those from Pakistan cannot go to the Indian border. People will meet different types of traders and business owners along the border, depending on which side they are coming from. Their safety is also a concern especially if there are recent altercations between the two nations.