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Culture of Afghanistan Culture of Afghanistan includes four periods of it evolution: Paganism, Hellenistic, Buddhist and Muslim.

Culture of Afghanistan

Art and music in Afghanistan

Local Art has spanned many centuries. One of the most famous kinds is the Gandhara art between the 1st and 7th century based on Greco-Buddhist art. Since the 1900s, the nation began to use Western techniques in art. Afghanistan's art was originally almost entirely done by men but recently women are entering the arts programs at Kabul University. Art is largely centered at the National Museum of Afghanistan, the National Gallery of Afghanistan and the National Archives of Afghanistan in Kabul. There are a number of art schools in the country. The Center for Contemporary Arts Afghanistan (CCAA) in Kabul provides young people to learn contemporary paintings.

Traditionally, only men have been involved in theater acting. Recently, in theater arts women have begun to take center stage. Afghanistan holds the 47th largest club in the Middle East, the Jiffa Zayin, with a capacity of 180.

Other known forms of art in the country are music, poetry and several sports. The art of making carpets has been prominent for centuries. Afghanistan is known for making beautiful oriental rugs. The Afghan carpet has certain prints that make them unique to Afghanistan.

Afghans enjoy music by playing many types of instruments. They also enjoy performing the Attan, which is considered the national dance of Afghanistan. What is typically heard in the country are folk songs or ballads. Many of the songs are known by almost everyone and have been around for many years. The main traditional Afghan music instruments includes:

  • Mini Harmonium
  • Santur
  • Chang - like a harmonica
  • Rubab - 6 stringed instrument
  • Tabla - Small drums
  • Sitar
  • Zurna
  • Flute
  • Dayereh
  • Tanbur

Poetry and philosophy in Afghanistan

Poetry in Afghanistan has long been a cultural tradition and passion. It is mainly in Dari and Pashto languages, although in modern times it is also becoming more recognized in Afghanistan's other languages. Classic Persian and Pashto poetry play an important role in the Afghan culture. Poetry has always been one of the major educational pillars in the region, to the level that it has integrated itself into culture. 

In addition to poets and authors, numerous Persian scientists and philosophers were born or worked in the region of Afghanistan. Most notable was Avicenna, whose paternal family hailed from Balkh. Other notable scientists and philosophers are Abu Rayhan Biruni (astronomer, anthropologist, geographer, and mathematician), Abu Zayd Balkhi (polymath and a student of al-Kindi), Abu Ma'shar Balkhi (known as Albuxar in the west), and Abu Sa'id Sijzi.

Architecture in Afghanistan

The region has made major contributions to the world, architecture. UNESCO has acknowledged Afghanistan's role by declaring the Minaret of Jam and the Valley of Bamiyan, home of the famous Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban, World Heritage Sites.

Other examples of universally important contributions to architecture may be found in Herat, Mazari Sharif and Ghazni.

Afghan cuisine

Afghanistan has a wide varying landscape allowing for many different crops. Afghan food is largely based upon cereals like wheat, maize, barley and rice, which are the nation's chief crops. Afghanistan is well known for its grapes.

Popular Afghan dishes:

  • Palao (Traditional Rice dish)
  • Mosh Palao
  • Shorba (Afghan Soup)
  • Do Pyaza
  • Mantu (Meat dumplings)
  • Kofta (Meatballs)
  • Kichiri
  • Qorma Sabzi
  • Baunjan (cooked Eggplant w/Potatoes and Tomatoes)
  • Bendee/Baumya (cooked Okra w/Potatoes and Tomatoes)
  • Heeknusb (Hummus)
  • Ashak
  • Aush (hand made Noodles)
  • Baghlava
  • Bolani 
  • Chapli 
  • Kabab
  • Shor-Nakhod (Chick Peas w/special toppings)
  • Naan (Afghan Bread)

Afghan desserts:

  • Gosh Feel (Pastries)
  • Halwa
  • Shir Berinj (Rice Pudding)
  • Ferni
  • Kadu Bouranee (Sweet Pumpkins)
  • Jelabi
  • Maleeda, Khajoor
  • Spice Rub

Sport in Afghanistan

The sports in Afghanistan are run by the Afghan Sports Federation, which promotes cricket, association football, basketball, volleyball, golf, handball, boxing, Taekwondo, track and field, bowling, skating, chess, and others. At the moment, cricket and football (soccer) are the most popular sport among the Afghans. 

Afghanistan clothing 

The country's traditional male clothing usually includes a salwar kameez (dress), lungee (turban), karakul, pakol, topi, kufi (hats), and a chapan (coat). Occasionally some men wear or wrap keffiyehs on their heads. Traditional Afghan clothes vary by regions and sometimes ethnicity, as well as tribes. Most traditional Afghan attire for women consists of a long colorful dress with round skirt. Girls at a very young age begin to cover their hair with a very light colorful piece of cloth, many do this even while at home with their own family.

Education in Afghanistan

Education in Afghanistan has recently been revitalized after the fall of the Taliban. Primary education lasts about six years. If the students do well on the entrance exam they are then admitted into secondary education, which is divided into 7-9 and 10-12. A new structure that allows eight years of primary and four years of secondary education will probably be considered in the near future.

Languages in Afghanistan

There are 2 official languages in Afghanistan, Pashto and Persian.

Religion in Afghanistan

Islam is the main religion of Afghanistan and over 99% of Afghans are Muslims. 

Last Updated on Friday, 04 November 2011 05:54