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Photo of the Month - exploring the Story behind the Image...

Indian Soldiers With Red Turbans and Black Uniforms

Indian Soldiers With Red Turbans and Black Uniforms

Year: 2013, Month: May

India > West Bengal > Kolkata

This photo was taken at the Army Equipment Display and Military Tattoo, at the Kolkata Polo Grounds earlier this year. It shows five jawans wearing the 'blood-red upright turban'. You can see there's a black centre-piece as well, to hold the fan in position. They were watching the arrival of their boss, the Chief of the Army Staff (India), who rode into the arena in an open carriage, accompanied by his wife. Slightly out of place on the uniforms and turbans seen here are some white strips of material, and some red and yellow wires. The white strips hold a number of illuminated LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, that will light up when the soldiers take part in some further displays in the evening, once the sun has gone down. I presume that batteries have been secreted within their uniforms as well. The strips look a bit out of place on the clothing, but don't spoil the general effect of the photograph, and made quite a show that evening when the display went ahead.

I have contacted a number of organisations asking for further information on the significance and traditions of the 'Upright Turban' but have yet to receive a reply. I'll post further details here as I receive them.

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