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Pakistan's Camel-Mounted Bagpipe Band

(Photo: AFP)

When is the best time to play bagpipes? The answer is: always. It is always appropriate to play the bagpipes, for they are the world's most beautiful musical instrument.

We've heard them played in space. We've heard them played on a unicycle. Now, thanks to enterprising soldiers in Pakistan, we can now hear the melodious sounds of the pipes by men on camels.

A year ago, the Pakistan Desert Rangers formed a camel-mounted military marching band that includes bagpipers. This has not been easy, as the camels have had to learn how to adjust to this new work and the pipers have had to learn how to play on bouncing camels. Dawn magazine reports:

“It is very difficult to play the bagpipe while sitting on the camel," admits piper Muhammad Hussain. “But we have now learned the art."

The band, part of the Pakistan Desert Rangers, was formed last year after hundreds of animals went out of service, reduced by the latest military patrol vehicles to doing mere donkey's work — that is until the idea to dress them in bunting and put bagpipers on their backs was born.

After making their debut before startled spectators at Pakistan's National Day parade in Islamabad in March, they are now deployed in Moj Garh, 100 kilometres east of Bahawalpur in Punjab province, where they drill daily in preparation for a potential international career.

We can only hope that these pipers and their camels get to travel the world in order to share the joy of bagpipe music.

-via Super Punch


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