Q:This is by far the most amazing blog on tumblr :) I absolutely love it! ♥
Thank you. I hope I can manage to keep it that way.
I’ll be leaving tonight, I know I said I would update more often before I left, but circumstances did not help. I’ll be in Afghanistan for the next 3 months.
Wish me a safe journey beautiful followers.
MISSION AFGHANISTAN | A Documentary about Sikhs in Afghanistan.
A young adventurous Afghan Sikh, Pritpal Singh, who had left Afghanistan 2 decades ago, set out from the UK to document the suffering of fellow Afghan Sikhs and Hindus communities in Afghanistan. The film “MISSION AFGHANISTAN” portrays the life and hardships of minorities in War-torn Afghanistan.”
Attan is a traditional Afghan dance; It’s origin lies in the Afghan Pashtoon tribes pagan yester-years and usually involved men performing a ritual dance. This was later modified into a Muslim dance of soldiers to allow the dancers to get ‘closer to God’ before they advanced on their missions. It was noted by the Moghuls of the period and is unique only amongst Afghans living in and around southern borders of Afghanistan.There are many different kinds of Attan in Afghanistan, Kabuli, Wardaki, Logari, Khosti/Paktia, Herati, Kochyano, Khattak, Pashayi (played with Surnai flute), and Nuristani.
It is performed usually with a Dhol, which is a double-headed barrel drum that has a very deep and low resonance sound. Other instruments can include a single barreled Dhol, Tablas, the 18-stringed Robab, Surnai flute (aka shanai-India, zurna - Central Asia and Turkey, and zurla Macedonia), or wooden flute known as a Toola. The technique behind the Attan has changed much for over centuries, but its base has not changed. Its a circular dance ranging from two to over a hundred people, and the performers will follow each other going round and round in a circle to the beat as the rhythm and beats faster.
More complex Attans involve an Attan troup leader who begins the attan slowly using a variation of styles and techniques, and the ultimate spin is performed after the leader gives the signal, either by placing his hand on the floor or raising it in the air. The musicians perform the music at the technique of the leader and is fully dependent on the attan leader for guidance. The dance can be anywhere from 5 minute to 30 minutes long. The attan will end when no dancer is left standing on the dance floor.
Afghan traditional songs:
Sorry for the late reply. I searched but could not find proper links to traditional songs, so i did not have enough to time upload before. I’ve uploaded some of the songs i had to my soundcloud account. You can download aswell.
These are some of my favorite traditional Attan songs. I hope everyone gives them a try; they are beautiful, makes you want to perform Attan.
Shin Ghoti Lawango
De Paktiawalo Attan
Rawali Janan me
Sherena yara dar jagameka
Zaar La mashomtoba
Tora da Jilkay
Q:Loved your post about all of the different tribes in Afghanistan. I'm so proud to be Afghan and this site has really helped me learn so much about our fascinating country! Khshala woosay hamaysha :-) <3
Thank you! I’m glad to have helped.
Manana la taso na layla jan.
An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.
Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.
Will be avaliable on May 21, 2013. You can pre-order here.
Kandahari Khamak Embroidery, Kandahar Treasure.
“Khamak, an intricate form of embroidery, is worked in silk thread and is a trademark of Kandahar. Girls learn this ancient art form at an early age and continue to do it throughout their lives. Inspired by complex Islamic geometric patterns, Khamak is unique to Kandahar and is considered by art experts to be one of the world’s finest embroidery techniques. It is traditionally used to decorate the striking, floor-length shawls worn by Southern Afghan men, as well as table linen, women’s head-coverings, and girls’ wedding trousseaus. The practice of Khamak involves counting the threads of the fabric weave (hence cotton and linen are the best raw materials for this embroidery) in order to stitch geometric shapes with silk-thread. The work is done in a sitting position with the embroidery positioned on the top of a bended knee.” [x]
Ethnic Groups of Afghanistan
Afghanistan is a loosily knit conglomeration of number of ethnic groups, chief of whom are Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras. These ehtnic groups have obvious dissimilarity, despite collectively residing in the region for hundreds of years. These ethnic groups of Afghanistan have their own way of living, defined by unwritten code.
Ethnic Groups Population Ratio
Pashtun 42-60%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%
Mainstream Ethnic Groups
Pashtuns or Pakhtuns or Pathans or Afghans are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. They constitute about two-fifth of Afghan population. Pashtoons can be further segregated into tribes, most famous among whom are Durrani and Ghilzai. Other major tribes are Wardak, Jaji, Tani, Jadran, Mangal, Khugiani, Safi, Mohmand and Shinwari etc. They can be easily recognised from other Afghan ethnic groups, due to their Pashto language and peculiar way of living, called Pashtunwali.
Homeland of Pashtuns lies south of the Hindu Kush, but Pashtun groups are scattered all over the country. Most Pashtuns work in farmlands to earn their livelihood. Many of them live nomadic lifestyle too. These nomads live in tents made of black goat hair.
Tajiks or Tadzhiks constitute the second largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. Populating around 4.5 million in early 1995, by the early 21st century they constituted about 1/5 of the population. They live in the Panjsher Valley north of Kabul and in the northern and northeastern provinces of Parwan, Takhar, Badakhshan, and also Baghlan and Samangan. Few Tajik people extend into the central mountains. Most Tajiks speak Dari Persian language.
Tajik community is not divided into tribes. In Afghanistan, the Tajiks do not organize themselves by tribes like Pashtuns instead they refer to themselves by the region, province, city, town, or village they are from; such as Badakhshi, Baghlani, Mazari, Panjsheri, Kabuli, Herati, Kohistani etc. For earning livelihood, Tajiks do sedentary mountain farming and sheep/goat herding. Tajiks grow variety of fine fruits and nuts.
Central regions of Afghanistan, known as Hazarat, are inhabited by the Hazaras. Good number of Hazaras also dwell in Badakhshan. Most of them are farmers and shepherds. Most Hazaras are the followers of the Shia sect of Islam. The Hazaras have their ancestors in Xinjiang region of north-western China. For a long time, the Hazaras were a neglected lot. However, they are now trying to get rid of their inferior status. Hazaras living in Afghanistan were estimated in 1995 at about one million and now Their population is estimated to be 1.5 to 3 million.
Uzbeks living in Afghanistan were estimated in the 1990s at approximately 1.3 million but are now believed to be 2 million. They live all across the northern areas of Afghanistan, mixed with Tajik population. The Uzbeks are the followers of Sunni sect of Islam and speak central Turkic dialects like Uzbeki. Most Uzbeks earn livelihood by farming and herding. However, several Uzbeks have become successful businessmen and skilled artisans. Uzbek social structure is patriarchal and leaders having the title beg, arbab or khan enjoy considerable power. The Uzbeks have no hesitation marrying with Uzbek and Tajik, but are averse to nuptial relations with Pushtuns.
Turkmens dwell along the southern side of Amu Darya. Most Turkmens are nomadic poeple who herd yaks. Turkmens speak both archaic form of Turkish and Persian. Many nomadic Turkmens still live in dome-shaped tents based on wooden frames. Men wear coats with long sleeves, while women also wear long dresses to cover their hands in cold weather.
The Nuristanis live in eastern Afghanistan bordering Pakistan. The region is so densily forested and rugged that it can be reached only by foot. They speak various dialects of Nuristani and Dardic. Usually, the Nuristanis are farmers, mountain herders and farmers. However, many of them have earned respectable place in the social order by getting into the army.
Baluchs in Afghanistan live in thinly populated deserts and semi-deserts of Helmand Province. Few Baluch enclaves can also be found in Faryab province. Number of Baluchs in Afghanistan is estimated around 100,000 in 90’s. Most people of Baluch ethnicity live in Pakistan and Iran. Most Baluchis can speak and understand Baluchi, Dari and Pashto. Chiefs of Baluch society are called sardars.
Other Ethnic Groups
Aimaqs live among nontribal people in the western regions of Badghis, Ghor and Herat provinces. They are Sunni Muslims and speak dialects resembling Dari. Several Arab enclaves can also be found in north-western Afghanistan. They are pastoralists who rear sheep and grow cotton and wheat. They speak not Arabic but Dari and Uzbeki. The Qizilbash are scattered all over Afghanistan. Traditionally, they have been holding administrative and professional positions. Sunni Brahui is a group living in the desert regions of south-western Afghanistan. Low in social heirarchy, they work as tenant farmers and hired herders for Baluch or Pashtun chieftains. The Wakhis live in small, remote hamlets in lower areas of Wakhan corridor and upper Badakhshan. The Farsiwans live near the Iran border or in some districts of Kandahar, Herat and Ghazni provinces. They are Dari-speaking agriculturalists.
Hindu-Sikh population in Afghanistan in 1990 was approximate 30,000. Under the reigns of Taliban, the Hindus were forced to wear yellow badges to identify themselves. Continuous violence caused rapid decline in Hindu-Sikh population.
Here is a link to a good BBC key map, it furthur illustrates the geographical locations of the ethnicities.