Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: traditions


At the Turn of a Century: A rare chance to discover Nawruz in history and in Afghanistan

S Reza Kazemi

By popular count at least, the coming solar year 1400 will usher in a new century in Afghanistan. Taking this as an exceptional once-in-a-lifetime chance, AAN researcher Reza Kazemi taps into a diverse array of sources, including history, literature and folk music, to look at Nawruz in deep time and through Afghanistan as a kaleidoscopic […]

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Playful Pastimes and Much More: Seven folk games from Afghanistan

S Reza Kazemi AAN Team

A ‘fundraising’ game by children to buy themselves treats for Nawruz, a children’s play that satirises wedding traditions, a funny game about how to deal with a duff player, a deceptively easy game particularly played by girls with hazelnut-sized stones, two more stone throwing games played by grown-ups and a complicated ‘egg fighting’ game favoured […]

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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 […]

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Man selling fish in Pul-e Surkh, Kabul. Demand rises sharply ahead of Nawruz as many engaged boys send fish to their fiancées. (Photo: Ali Sina Sorush, 19 March 2019)

Happy Nawruz: May every day be Nawruz for AAN readers

AAN Team

AAN wishes a happy new year and joyful Nawruz to all its readers. Afghans and many others across the region will be celebrating the first day of 1398, also the first day of spring, with family visits, special food and picnics. In Kabul, some will go to the Sakhi Shrine, while many others will congregate […]

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Lahndi Season: a delicacy and a feast in rural Afghanistan

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Many find the arrival of fall and the beginning of winter depressing, but Lahndi, a traditional food feast in Afghanistan, makes the season something to look forward to. In certain ways, the anticipation of Lahndi can be compared to the way people around the world prepare for Christmas, with happiness; with one major difference, that […]

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Autumn Pastimes, or the Other Fighting Grounds of Afghanistan

Obaid Ali

Bird fighting has an ancient history as a common autumn pastime among Afghans. As soon as the weather gets colder, various tournaments take place among bird enthusiasts, either in the open air or in a warm arena, depending on what sort of birds are fighting. In Kabul, the favourite birds to take the field are […]

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Traditional local jirgas violative of human rights


Pajhwok News Agency, 14 December 2013 The Kabul-based news agency picks up a hot iron, with the issue of traditional ('tribal') justice and comes to the conclusion that they "are violative of human rights in many cases and their decisions are illegal and contrary to shariah". (What about the Afghan constitution?) Such jirgas are often "condoning […]

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Happy Eid! And ten stories of celebrations and customs from all over the country

AAN Team

Finally, after a month of dawn-to-sunset fasting, Eid al Fitr approaches, the Feast of the Breaking the Fast. The country will slow down significantly, Afghans take three to seven days off, the men go for Eid prayers, and for once there will be (hopefully) more play than politics. But Eid is more than that. There […]

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