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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

India Gifts Traditional 'Ballams' to Egypt: A Gesture of Diplomatic Friendship


Sat 06 Jan 2024 | 10:22 AM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

In a symbolic and culturally significant gesture, India has extended its diplomatic friendship to Egypt by gifting traditional 'Ballams', the esteemed lances of the President's Bodyguard (PBG). This notable event took place at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 4, 2024, marking a memorable moment in the bilateral relations between the two nations.

Shri Rajesh Verma, the Secretary to the President, represented India in this ceremonial exchange. He presented the 'Ballam' - a lance that holds great ceremonial and historical significance in India - to H.E. Mr. Wael Mohamed Awad Hamed, the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The request for these lances, which are also commonly used in Egypt, was initiated by the Egyptian Government, signifying a shared cultural heritage and respect.

A total of 50 PBG Lances were handed over to the Egyptian Ambassador, symbolizing a bridge of friendship and mutual respect between India and Egypt. Each 'Ballam' is a majestic nine feet nine inches long and is adorned with a striking red and white pennon. This pennon holds deep meaning, representing the ethos of the PBG – 'blood over surrender', a testament to the bravery and valor of the guards.

An intriguing aspect of these lances is their crafting process. In keeping with a long-standing tradition, the riders of the PBG personally hand-make each 'Ballam'. This custom not only imbues these lances with historical significance but also ensures that each piece carries a personal touch of the maker, making them not just weapons but symbols of heritage and pride.

This exchange at Rashtrapati Bhavan goes beyond a mere ceremonial act. It reflects the strengthening ties between India and Egypt and showcases the importance of cultural diplomacy in international relations. As these traditional lances find a new home in Egypt, they carry with them a message of friendship, respect, and shared values, further deepening the bonds between these two ancient civilizations.