Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: Culture

Culture

A still from the documentary showing a young girl wearing the traditional hat called kola-ye topak-dar in Daikundi province. Photo: Nasim Seyamak

A Kaleidoscopic Heritage: New efforts to promote Afghan traditions of art and culture

S Reza Kazemi

A fifteenth-century miniature painting of the prophet Yusuf brought to new life in an animation, puppets telling the modern love story of Siyamoy and Jalali and women’s traditional hats in Daikundi: all are featuring in a festival held in Kabul at the Qasr-e Chehel Sotun – the Palace of Forty Columns. The festival is one […]

Context and Culture Read more

Rug Weavers and Bride Prices in the Northwest: Still expensive in spite of government and Taleban rules

Obaid Ali

Weddings in Afghanistan are often an expensive and ‘back-breaking’ affair. A government law to change the expensive wedding culture remains largely unimplemented and there seems to be little will to enforce it. The Taleban have also imposed an assortment of rules for controlling wedding costs in areas under their command, which vary depending on the […]

Context and Culture Read more

What’s in a Woman’s Name? No name, no public persona

Rohullah Sorush

Across Afghanistan, women are not addressed or referred to by their names in public. Even on wedding invitations and tombstones, they are typically referred to as the daughter, wife or mother of their father, husband or eldest son. Many Afghans believe naming a woman in public dishonours her. Others are arguing that a tradition that […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
An Afghan ensemble performing at the Lycee Istiqlal in Kabul on February 23, 2011. Photo: Fabrizio Foschini

War and Exile Through the Musicians’ Eye: Professor John Baily’s account of four decades of Afghan music (book review)

Fabrizio Foschini

 “Music is essential for the very survival of man’s humanity.” In the opening lines of his book ‘War, Exile and the Music of Afghanistan’, John Baily motivates his research with this quote from fellow ethnomusicologist John Blacking. For the author, who spent more than four decades researching and performing the music of Afghanistan alongside Afghan […]

Context and Culture Read more

A Taleb Lost in a Polish Forest and More: Afghanistan in western films (part 2), 2001 to 2015

Christian Bleuer

Since 2001, there has been a relatively large number of western films that feature Afghanistan – either briefly or, in some cases, for the entire length of the movie. But despite the significant numbers of American and European mainstream films that deal with Afghanistan, there are few that truly explore the country and its people. […]

Context and Culture Read more

Thematic Dossier IX: Birds in Afghanistan

AAN Team

It had started out as a grey, rainy week in Kabul – just perfect for birdwatchers. Birds flying north, sometimes thousands of kilometres on their spring migrations, are more likely to land in the green trees of the Afghan capital when the weather is bad. This week, AAN’s Kate Clark has been woken by the […]

Dossiers Read more

Rambo Was Too Late: Afghanistan in Western films (part I), from 1909 to 2001

Christian Bleuer

Afghanistan has rarely featured in western films, especially when compared to other foreign locales – from countries in Africa to Latin America to East Asia. This cinematic neglect is matched by the lower prominence that Afghanistan was accorded in the popular imagination and in western foreign policy during this era. Despite the shortage of films about […]

Context and Culture Read more

Cult, Culture and the Need for Public Education: Why the National Museum in Kabul has little meaning for Afghans

Jolyon Leslie

The National Museum has been a powerful symbol in the portrayal of Afghanistan’s recovery since 2002 and focus of intense international attention. However, the ‘narrative of loss’ that runs through portrayals of the museum’s recent history tends to displace serious discussion as to its role as an institution in today’s Afghanistan. After more than a […]

Context and Culture Read more

Memorials and Patrons: How northern Afghan elites try to own history

S Reza Kazemi

Elites in Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of Balkh province and most important city in the north, have, in recent years, supported the building of new memorials and re-naming of the city’s streets and intersections. They are also sponsoring intellectuals and their literary and artistic output. These are politically driven cultural projects, attempts by the leading […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghan Singers Fall Silent

AAN

IWPR, 24 March 2014 Most weddings are held without music again in many parts of Nangrahar province, reports Kabul-based IWPR, due to influence of the Taleban. Musicians struggle to survive and their profession is in danger again: as one musician relates: "Three years ago, we would go out to weddings in the districts. There were […]

Recommended Reads Read more

Historic Afghan [Buddhist] Sites Face Ruin

AAN

IWPR, 12 March 2014 "In the Shahi Qala area of Surkhrod district [in Nangrahar province,] eastern Afghanistan, half-a-dozen round towers lie scattered at intervals of a few hundred metres. They are Buddhist stupas" built when the area belonged to the Gandhara kingdom, writes the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. But they are crumbling, "as officials […]

Recommended Reads Read more

Silk Road jewel reveals more of its treasures

AAN

BBC, 20 October 2013 Balkh province in northern Afghanistan is home to some of the most significant historical sites in the world – its ancient city was even known as the mother of all cities. More than a decade after her first visit, Lynne O'Donnell returns with a group of archaeologists, trying to uncover more […]

Recommended Reads Read more