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Afghanistan nationality, language and tradition

In the streets of Kabul

From the main languages to the national dress, find out more about the customs and traditions of the Afghanistan people

Afghanistan people

Afghanistan is a multiethnic society, and they are related to many of the ethnic groups in Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan; the majority of whom are Muslim, Sunni and Shia Muslims. 

Here are the main ethnic groups that make up the people of Afghanistan:

  • Pashtun - 42%
  • Tajik - 27%
  • Hazara - 9%
  • Uzbek - 9%
  • Aimak - 4%
  • Turkmen - 3%
  • Baloch - 2%
  • Others (Pashai, Nuristani, Arab, Brahui, Pamiri, Gujjar, etc.) - 4%

Languages of Afghanistan

The two official languages of Afghanistan are Persian Dari (lingua franca) and Pashto.

And there are more than 40 languages, with around 200 different dialects in Afghanistan.

National clothing of Afghanistan

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 crafts in Afghanistan

There’s a long and rich history of traditional arts and crafts in Afghanistan, and many of these skills are alive and well today.

The main crafts include:

  • Calligraphy
  • Miniature painting
  • Tile and pottery production
  • Carpet making
  • Embroidery
  • Jewellery
  • Woodwork

Traditional folk dancing remains popular

Attan is a form of dance that originated in the Pashtun regions of Afghanistan. Attan began as a folk dance conducted by Afghans in the time of war or during wedding or other celebrations (engagement, new year and informal gatherings). It is now considered the national dance of Afghanistan.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 November 2011 10:11