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Afghanistan Afghanistan Afghanistan

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Culture of Afghanistan

Culture of Afghanistan has been influenced by many aspects. For centuries Afghanistan has been used by invaders as their gateway to India and other central Asian countries. Afghanistan has been the part of several mighty and culturally rich empires, which left their legacy in the region. The Culture of Afghanistan is therfore the result of rich and long cultural heritage left in Afghanistan by Greeks, Persians and Indians.

Islam had its impact on Afghanistan culture. Islamic threads were left in the art, music, architecture and poetry of Afghanistan. Due to constant battles and wars the cultural assets of Afghanistan have blemished in recent days. Afghans are expert in embellishing their daily life articles with fine arts and calligraphy.

Culture of Afghanistan Buzkashi is a significant part of the Afghan culture. It is one of the ancient games played in Afghanistan. Buzkashi literally means "goat killing" and the name was derived from hunting of mountain goats by champions on horseback. The game originated from the time of Ghengis Khan, one of the rulers of medieval Afghanistan. Provinces of Maimana, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Kataghan are the most popular destinations for Buzkashi. Due to the religious belief women are not allowed to watch the game. There are mainly two types of Buzkashi played, Tudabarai & Qarajai.

The Afghan culture is replete with a number of festivals. An Islamic country as it is festivals in Afghanistan culture are of Muslim origin. Eid al Fitr (end of Ramadan) is the most important festival of Afghanistan. The whole month of Ramadan is considered as the month of sacrifice and purity. Muharram commemorates the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain. Eid al-Adha (Eid-e-Qurban) is also one of the holy days of Afghans. New year day is celebrated as Nau Roz on the first day of spring according to Afghan solar calendar. Mawlud-un Nabi and Lailat-ul Qadr are also common festivals of Afghanistan.

Afghan cuisine is enriched with spices and rich aroma. Afghanistani cuisine is mainly influenced by that of Persia, India and Mongolia. Main ingredients are spices from India; mint, meat cookery, subzi from Persia and the noodles/ pasta from Mongolia. Afghani cuisine is flavored with garam masala, saffron, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, chilis, leeks, coriander, parsley, mint and black pepper. Pulao and Qabli puloao are famous dishes from Afghanistan. Vegetarian dishes are not so popular in Afghanistan culture. Due to environmental factors people take food rich in fat and protein.

Ethnic Groups
Society of Afghanistan consists of number of ethnic groups, chief of whom are Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras. These ehtnic groups practise different ways of living, despite collectively inhabiting in the region for hundreds of years. Their lifestyle defined by unwritten code, and they choose their leaders, known as Begs or Khans to rule over them. Pashtuns or Pakhtuns or Pathans or Persian Afghans are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, constituting about two-fifth of Afghan population.

Inter Ethnic Relations
Afghan ethnic groups have had complex relationships. Several groups share complicated and tense relations. Afghan governments have mostly been dominated by the Pashtuns, with members of other tribes in secondary positions. This fuels resentment in them. Often, zones of ethnic groups overlap and become cause of tensions.
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