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Cultural Diversity in Afghanistan Essay

Afghanistan is an Islamic country. It is divided into different regions where people manifest their own culture and beliefs. Though Afghans dwell in same country yet they practiced different cultures because of their regions’ location and tradition. What is applied to a certain region of Afghanistan may not be applicable to the other regions of the country. This would only show that there is a cultural diversity amongst regions of Afghanistan. Moreover, Afghanistan is located in south-central Asia. The encyclopedia of Islam stated that:

Afghanistan has borne that name only since the middle of the 18th century, when the supremacy of the Afghan race (Pashtuns) became assured: previously various districts bore distinct appellations, but the country was not a definite political unit, and its component parts were not bound together by any identity of race or language. The earlier meaning of the word was simply “the land of the Afghans”, a limited territory which did not include many parts of the present state but did comprise large districts now either independent or within the boundary of Pakistan” (see “Afghanistan”.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. November 15, 2006). The northern part of the country is bordered by the Soviet Union and on the northeast; it is bordered by China and Kashmir, on the west side is bordered by Iran and on the east and south it is bordered by Pakistan. Every citizen of the country is called as Afghan though the country is composed of various ethnic groups. One of these ethnic groups is the Pashtun (it is also be spelled as Pakhtun, Pathan, Pushtun, and Pukhtun) which makes up about 60 percent of the population.

They are from the Caucasian origin and dwelt in Afghanistan in not less than 1, 3000 year. Normally, they are recognized and acknowledged as the “true Afghans”. Pashtuns are separated into numerous tribes and sub-tribes, followed an ancient code of conduct called as Pashtunwali. The second most populated group is the Tajik, who were also come from the Caucasian origin (see “Afghanistan”. New Standard Encyclopedia. Volume 1, Pp. A-91, A-93, 94). The intent of this paper is to describe the different cultures in Afghanistan.

II. Discussion As I have mentioned earlier, there are two ethnic groups who dwelt in Afghanistan. These groups practiced different cultures. Moreover, different cultures are practiced in Afghanistan because there are numerous ethnic groups that are smaller in number who are scattered throughout the country. Nuristanis is another ethnic group of Afghnistan. They dwell in the secluded mountains of the northeast of Kabul, near the Pakistan border. The Nuristanis claimed that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great.

Before they were converted into Islam, Nuristanis had statue of wooden idols and ancestral images sculpted by them and these are well-preserved in the Kabul Museum. Several of these were possibly used to venerate dead ancestors and used in healing rituals or ceremonials (see “Other Minority Ethnic Groups in Afghanistan”. 2002). Moreover, life in the Afghan home is upholding high values because they really defined the roles of the men and women. These roles are very different from any culture around the world.

The women’s lives only revolve in their home and to their children; thus, this practice is in line with their Muslim beliefs. Starting from late 1950s, the urban women who belonged in a well-off family were allowed to find their work far from their homeland and had opportunity to study on higher education. But these privileges were not enjoyed by all women because women who dwelt in the rural areas or amongst nomadic tribes are not given these opportunities. Everyday, Afghan women supply their families with two meals, together with snacks.

Their traditional meals are pilau which has meat or vegetables, poultry or wild game kebabas, mutton, yogurt, hot soup and nan which a flat bread. In addition, Afghan has different ways when they engage in marriage. A man and a woman are united in marriage through an agreement made by both parents by settling financial commitments or also called as the “marketplace” or “dowry”. In their culture, marriage is considered as a deal between families not just by individuals and it includes financial commitments on both families. The groom will give a dowry to the family of the bride.

The dowry comprises of decorative and functional items that are necessary for establishing a household. It comprises goods like beddings, utensils, clothing, jewelry, fans and hangings. The men who attend the weddings are given presents like embroidered handkerchiefs or turban caps. The process in assembling a dowry involves a long period of time and much effort and it is usually started while the girl is still young. The relatives of the females help in the wedding preparations (see “Afghanistan”). III. Conclusion Truly, the cultures in Afghanistan are one of a kind.

Afghan women are just like precious stones because they are well taken care by their parents. During in their younger years, parents set an arrange marriage for their daughter and ask for a dowry to the male’s side. References 1. “Afghanistan”. New Standard Encyclopedia. Volume 1, Pp. A-91, A-93, 94. 2. “Other Minority Ethnic Groups in Afghanistan”. 2002. http://www. afghan- network. net/Ethnic-Groups/other-groups. html 3. “Afghanistan”. http://146. 186. 95. 23/mat_mus/Tour/t_afghan. htm 4. “Afghanistan”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. November 15, 2006. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Afghanistan#_note-4


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