Afghanistan Lifestyle and Culture

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The country’s culture can be traced as far back as 4000 BC with stunning prehistoric artifacts standing to witness to its rich tribal history, many of which are still evident today outside of the capital. Male and female roles are strictly delineated and traditional religious customs are very much adhered to here. While most of Afghanistan’s timeline has been dominated by war, the country is making every effort to turn itself around and progress into the brighter tomorrow.

A bit about Afghan history

War and power struggles pretty much define the context of Afghanistan. From the days of Persian- and Greek empires to flourishing Buddhist and Islamic civilizations, and the transfer of power from the Arabs to the Turks, to the Mongols and then back to the Indian and Persian era, the country is constantly the center of a political tug of war between someone. Its history can be seen in its beautiful heritage sites, ranging from awe-inspiring Buddhist monuments to prehistoric sites, many of which remain tucked from combat.

The Buddha statues of Bamiyan were caught in the crossfire through and bore witness to Afghanistan's most recent changes, now standing in ruins because of the Taliban’s ruthless attack in the early 2000’s. Kabul itself is a testament to Afghanistan’s struggles, being the center of violence from the early days of Islamic intrusion to the British Indian Rule, and then to the days of communism and the Taliban reign

Afghan Culture

Much of the Afghan culture is centered on tribal and nomadic societies. Different regions of the country are dominated by their own traditions, creating a certainly multicultural nation. Pashtun dominates the southern and eastern regions, where people follow Pashtunwali ethics. The rest of the country is largely influenced by Turkic and Persian lifestyle.

While many of the country’s historic relics have been demolished by war, recent archeological digs have uncovered new hints into the Afghan past in different regions. The Buddhas of Bamiyan are among the most iconic monuments in the country. These statues, along with many other Buddhist relics in galleries, museums, and prehistoric sites are proof that Buddhism was once the strong religion in the country.

Afghanistan is a highly Islamic and conservative country. Showing off the soles of the feet is considered an insult, and women are expected to dress very conservatively and avoid any revealing clothes. Long sleeves, trousers, and skirts are recommended attire. While foreigners are not required to wear a head-to-toe burkha, shawls that cover the head and the chest should be part of your daily garb if you are a woman. Homosexuality is unlawful, and so is drinking or possessing alcohol. It is tradition to embrace or rub noses with people you come across, though handshaking is an accepted form of greeting too.

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