Sunday, February 27, 2011

Culture, Traditions, History

Afghanistan is located in Central Asia. Its culture, traditions and customs are unique to its geographical setting as a landlocked state. It is bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and with China.

Although Afghanistan is a country wrecked by a senseless war, its existence should not be branded by its prior history. Afghanistan’s population of almost 30 million includes a vast majority of different ethnicities that are working together to improve their economy and work together for a brighter future.

Deeply engrained in this small country in the Middle East is their culture, which has been around for over two millennia. Afghans are very proud of their tradition, and customs are taken very seriously. For example, Afghans are some of the most hospitable people in the world. Regardless of whether you are visiting the family of a Sheik or a peasant, you will be treated like a king. It is part of Afghan tradition to treat your guests as you would wish to be treated if ever you were visiting them.

The glorious land of the Afghans is now the focus of much political attention and different countries or culture. However, a closer look at the region makes it easy to understand current events. The people here flaunt a culture and tradition that are the result of ancient trade and migration. The customs that have emerged and survived greatly compliment its geostrategic location, and a long tryst with invaders and individual empires. Modern Afghanistan is well grounded in its beliefs and customs, even as it is open to change. This buffer state is no more one; it has emerged as a power to reckon with. Afghanistan has always influenced world cultures and heritage, more than their military or political mindset. A rich tradition in ancestry and pride in personal honor are characteristics that offer a glimpse of the land and its people. The new Afghanistan is hardly any different from the older version, physically. However, the influence of neighboring countries and the remnants of a terrible civil war have made the people vary of foreign intervention. The people of Afghanistan are friendly and hard-working. Their lives and vocations are centered around the home. Women are treated with utmost respect and honor.

Afghan culture

People: Afghans are very brave and proud of their land, religion and ancestry. They value their independence beyond life. These highlanders are known for their loyalty to the clan, and due to clan warfare, they seem always up-in-arms to settle disputes. However, this is wrongly interpreted as a preference for violence. This particular trait is the result of consistent foreign invasion. They never negotiate on their land, they tead their land as a mother. So, in the past as you seen the Russian occupation was fail in this land. Now there are around 40 to 50 super states arm formed on the ground in Afghanistan and going to flee the country without any victory. Although Obama has declared his victory, but in the mean time everybody known that all the world's super power actually fail.

Geographic: Afghanistan has lost quite a few of its historic monuments in recent wars. The famous sites of Kandahar - the city that flaunts the prophet's cloak, Ghazni and Balkh are remnants of architectural extravagance and grandeur. The famous Minaret of Jam has been declared a 'heritage site' by UNESCO.

Sport: Buzkashi. Do you know about the Buzkashi?. Buzkashi is the national game of Afghanistan. In the game player riding on horses to get the buz i mean the Goat. Anybody in this game will take the Goat firstly with their stick so he will be the game winner and he will honord the prize of the mela. It is a game like polo that is centered around claiming the carcass of a goat, placed in the center. Hound racing is another popular sport of the highlands.

Poetry and Language: Persian and Pashto poetry is a very important part of Afghan culture. Poetry is a major component in education. Mushaeras or poetry competitions are a common indulgence with the ordinary people. In fact, most homes have exclusive collections of poetry. They have given to the world, poets like Rabi'a Balkhi - the first poetess of Persian poetry, Farrukhi Sistani - the Ghaznavid royal poet, Jāmī of Herāt and Alī Sher Navā'ī. The language commonly spoken by the Afghans is the eastern Persian dialect called Dari. The name refers to the 'language of the royals'. Dari is the official language of more than one-third of the population. Pashto is spoken in eastern and southern Afghanistan, while Tajik is spoken prominently in the north. There are many other languages and dialects spoken throughout the country.

Afghan Traditions

Afghans are mostly followers of the Islam religion. These highlanders have a tradition of music. Traditional as well as modern Afghan music is unique in appeal and is part of the celebrations. The people indulge themselves during the Nauroz celebration. Afghans are known to display a fierce loyalty to respective tribes. They believe that Islamic law permits every 'believer' to maintain arms when directed by the ruler. This requirement mainly springs from the geographical location and difficult living conditions in the mountains. They flaunt a very simple, but nourishing cuisine that comprises hand baked bread and meat or vegetable preparations. The food is rich and spicy, complimenting the climatic conditions. Their uncomplicated lifestyle has worked both, for and against the people. Several times, their friendly nature has been mistaken for a compromising attitude and has led to the current political conditions. On the contrary, the Afghans are quite a hardy lot and basically non-interfering. The geographical location of the country has made it a perpetual battleground, due to the war on terrorism, an evil that thrives in the mountains.

Afghan Customs

The people of Afghanistan are firm believers in the omnipresent God and follow the principles of Islam. Their customs and way of life are designed to compliment the dictates of the Prophet, location of their country and clanship, essentially in that order. They are very hospitable and loyal people, who value personal honor and responsibility as the fundamentals of social structure. They greet one another with the phrase Assalaam Alaikum, which means 'Peace be with you'. The response to the greeting is Waalaikum Assalaam, indicating unison in thought. It is not uncommon to see the highlanders walk bare-foot. It is a custom to remove footwear prior to prayers. Among the other common rules in etiquette that they follow are pointing directions with whole hand instead of one finger, a hand-shake and a pat on the back when men meet and a warm embrace and kissing thrice on alternate cheeks when women meet. Afghan society is kinship based and the traditional customs and practices, vary just a bit from one region to another.

Wazir Khan,

No comments:

Post a Comment