The female swear word, “All men are goats,” which is customary in Russia, will obviously not be understood in Zimbabwe. Her guardian goat is smart, disciplined, and dresses in the latest military fashion. Photo: © Nehanda Radio
The recent visit of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to Zimbabwe attracted much media attention due to an unusual detail. This is how they talked about her in the news: “An honor guard with a goat saw off Lukashenka at the airport.” Conspiracy theorists immediately began to wonder what signal the Zimbabwean authorities were trying to send with this…
In fact, everything is easier. The goat is the mascot of the guard of honor of this African country. This practice, by the way, exists in many paramilitary units around the world. The goat even has a special rank – “minor soldier”, and its name is Kumalo. And as the head of the press service of the Zimbabwean army, Alfios Makotre, said, the young soldier Kumalo is the most disciplined soldier in the entire country. He is well trained and is capable of many combat techniques.
“Komsomolskaya Pravda” reminded of other honor guards in different countries of the world, which is better to see once.
young and single
Vatican. Photo: Grzegorz GALAZKA/Global Look Press
The Swiss guard that guards the Vatican has just over a hundred people and is distinguished by a uniform more suitable for a theatrical performance than for the real protection of the pontiff and the Apostolic Palace. Requirements for candidates: a single man between the ages of 19 and 30 with a Swiss passport and a height of at least 1.76 m only when the guards are performing ceremonial functions. It was introduced in 1910. Each uniform is custom made and takes approximately 30 hours to complete. And as soon as the guard finishes his service, his form is destroyed.
2. United Kingdom
big foot fur hats
The English guard (“bearskins”) has long been a symbol of the kingdom. The infantry regiment is dressed in red uniforms and black fur caps, which for centuries have been made from the skin of the baribal bear. By the way, it is this bear that is often confused with Bigfoot, since the bear often moves on its hind legs. In recent years, animal rights activists have advocated for natural fur to be replaced with artificial fur. But traditionalists remember that bear hats, with proper care, can last for more than half a century and are not affected by the weather. By the way, her weight reaches 3 kg, and her height is 45 cm.
3. Republic of Fiji
With white skirt and sandals.
Republic of Fiji. Photo: Jared WILTSHIRE/Wikimedia Commons
In the form of the honor guard of the island of Fiji, the colonial influence of Great Britain can be traced. The guards base wears a red tunic, reminiscent of the uniform of Queen Victoria’s time, and the officers wear white uniforms with gold aiguillettes. A distinctive element is the extravagant sulu skirt, a tribute to traditional dress. For private it is white, for seniors it is black with red stripes. A white cap with gold elements is reserved only for the head of the honor guard. This is also a tribute to traditions, only the leader had the right to wear a headdress. The sandals complete the look. By the way, many people in the country use them, and diplomats even use them for international negotiations.
Tsokai as a horse
Evzones – a special unit of the Greek army is part of the honor guard, which stands at the post at the monument to the Unknown Soldier in Athens. The Evzones shape is rooted in history. The white skirt with 400 folds symbolizes the 400 years of occupation of Greece by the Ottoman Empire and requires 30 meters of fabric. Shoes – tsaruchia – weigh more than three kilograms. At the bottom of the shoes are at least 60 nails that imitate the sounds of battle and the drumming of horses. The black silk pompoms that adorn the zauchia are round handmade.
With a zoo pen
Photo: Elena KRIVYAKINA
Strict requirements are placed on those who apply for service in the Bulgarian honor guard. Your height should be 178-182 cm and your weight should not exceed 82 kg. On the face – no moles, freckles or scars. Good hearing is very important – the guard must hear a whisper at a distance of 6 meters. The shape changes according to the season. In summer, the guards wear white uniforms with red braids and a gray hat, in winter – a crimson uniform with white braids and a white hat. The hats are decorated with an eagle feather and are provided by the Sofia Zoo. The most expensive accessory is boots, they are sewn from expensive leather, the price of one pair reaches 300 euros. The image is complemented by a ceremonial saber and a bag for gunpowder – a corpse.
6. South Korea
Back to the 15th century
South Korea’s honor guard reflects the country’s traditions. In ancient times, guards from the Joseon Dynasty guarded the Gwarhwamun Gate, the entrance to the Gyeongbokgung Imperial Palace. In 1996, it was decided to rebuild the historical ceremony: the original form, weapons, musical instruments and banners of the guards of the 15th and 16th centuries were restored.
In the style of Genghis Khan
In the 20th century, the Mongolian honor guard uniform (it was created in 1955) was no different from the Soviet one. The servicemen were armed with 1927 model checkers and Simonov carbines. During all this time, the guard changed shape three times. The latest transformations took place in 2011, when the guards dressed in historical costumes – red and blue caftans, reminiscent of the outfit of Genghis Khan’s personal guard. The uniform is decorated with a traditional national ornament and has a patch of combined arms of the armed forces on the shoulders. On the chest is a decorative metal disk, which replaced the medieval leather armor. Instead of boots, there are bent-toed gutula boots, which previously functioned as spurs. The accessories are a curved saber and a golden helmet.
The honor guard in Italy is represented by the cuirassier regiment of the Carabinieri. Its history began in the 15th century, and the shape was only partially improved. The current view is a sample of the uniform from the second half of the 19th century. Cuirassiers now wear a dark blue uniform with white epaulettes, white leggings, and black over-the-knee boots. On the head of the guards is an elegant golden helmet with a long ponytail, reminiscent of Roman helmets.
The honor guard in Italy is represented by the cuirassier regiment of the Carabinieri.
9. India and Pakistan
Who has the taller leg?
india and pakistan
The Indian and Pakistani honor guard uniforms are noted for their headgear. They are decorated with “combs” resembling a fan. But of particular interest is the changing of the guard ceremony, which takes place on the border between countries near the Indian city of Amritsar. The guards line up opposite each other and seem to perform a ritual dance, raising their legs, who is taller? The Changing of the Guard is called the “Sunrise Ceremony” and attracts many locals and tourists.
Riot of color
Thailand. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Every December 2, Thailand hosts the main solemn military parade – the removal of the banner, which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. And it is not surprising: you will not find such a riot of colors in any other army on the planet. Each branch of the armed forces (there are 13 in total) wears uniforms of a special color – from lemon yellow to lilac, and helmets with feathers (also, of course, of course, “marked” coloring) are the “icing on the cake” . For foreigners, such a uniform looks unusual, but the Thais themselves have great respect for the military traditions of their country, which is the only one in Southeast Asia! – It’s never been a colony.
“Analog of an evening dress or a tuxedo”
“The pretentiousness and impracticality of the honor guards uniform is a tribute to historical traditions,” says Lyudmila Alyabyeva, Academic Director of the HSE Graduate School of Art and Design, Editor-in-Chief of Fashion Theory: Clothing, Body, Culture magazine. – The dress uniform can be compared to an evening dress or a men’s tuxedo, since it retains impractical elements and is more representative. Such spectacle and theatricality is a way of emphasizing the ritual significance of the moment.