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
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.
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
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
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.
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.