Customs and traditions of Afghanistan
The geographical position of Afghanistan and its stormy history led to the mixture on this land of a huge number of different cultures, languages and traditions, which constitute the motley and often very confusing cultural heritage of this country. Uniform for the whole country, the system of traditions to allocate simply impossible – each nationality or tribal group have its own etiquette, history, system of values, a set of traditions and language; Single for all are only generalistic values.
Afghans usually live in big families headed by a senior man. Marriages (fairly early, by the way) are usually between members of one tribal group, and with mandatory approval (or by prior arrangement) of both families from which newlyweds occur. Within tribal groups, a rigid clan is observed, and the tribes themselves are included in fairly stable tribal associations, having in many cases explicit signs of large autonomy both from the central authorities and from others, even related, tribes. Despite the complex ethnic composition of the local population, the cross-bred conflicts are extremely rare (most often all problems are regulated at the level of negotiations of elders or tribal councils), and the general situation is quite calm.
Afghan society is still an overwhelmingly rural, and a century-old clan system is preserved, and often one or another is representatives of one people or a tribal group (although a lot of half-blooded tribes). And men and women traditionally wear long cotton skirts, baggy pants, special vests and a mandatory headdress (Turbans in men are often a symbol of accessories to a particular tribal group).
Afghan houses traditionally consist of a number of rooms surrounding a rectangular courtyard, where women are engaged in children and prepare food. Separately, the male section is allocated, for receiving guests at home and holding negotiations, and "Female Half". Married sons often live in the same house with parents, although they often have separate rooms in one of the wings of the building. In the poor mountain whales often simply share the house on the open "Male" and closed "feminine" parts, and all the techniques are carried out under a canopy on the street or in a large male room. Often guests are located for the night in one large room, together with the owner or children – other premises in a poor local houses may simply not be. Nomadic Afghans live in tents organized by the same principle as any other nomadic people of Asia.
Afghan traditions impose many restrictions on women’s behavior. In most tribes, men have the right to decide when a woman can get out of the house when she can appear before guests or what exactly should she do at this time. Government "Taliban" Ented even more stringent limitations of women’s rights, including the ban on education and posts. However, with defeat "Taliban" Women were restored in their rights, although it should be noted that in many tribes the radical rules have never been observed, and women enjoyed fairly wide. Many women wear "Burk", or "chaden" – Afghan analogue of Barraji, however, this item of the wardrobe is not at all necessary, as in many Arab countries, but is rather an element of tribal identification (decorating such cape – a separate branch of local decorative arts, although for the most part they are very modest) and dust protection. Afghan women traditionally lower the view when talking with men, it will be expected from foreigners.
Polygamy is officially permitted, but in reality is quite limited. Communication of a woman with other people’s men is almost impossible, and in most cases they go out only accompanied by one of the men of the genus, so you should not try to talk with them, taking pictures and especially touch – it may be regarded as a serious insult. However, there are no tourist restrictions on communicating with local ladies, they are even allowed to enter the female half of the house and freely communicate with the hostess.
Like other mountain peoples of Asia, Afghans have a complex code of conduct rules, dominate among which the concepts of personal honor, social status, the reputation of the kind (or clan) and military merit. At the same time, every man within the community is quite independent – the Afghan society is surprisingly democratically and provides many of the freedoms, and the most complained by the incomplete codes than any laws. Though "Buntears and rosy" Here they do not like – no matter how independent, without a community you are just a person, but within it – a member of the authoritative and respected community. The tribal system is a powerful political factor in the life of the whole country, and temporary or constant tribal associations replace political parties here. According to local laws, each man is obliged to defend the interests of its tribe by order of the leader or elders, so such powerful and beautifully armed breeding groups are also a deterrent in solving various conflict issues.
Code of personal behavior here is quite simple. Afghans are hospitable and very good-natured to those who do not violate their customs and traditions, at the same time, as many tourists say, they are quite condescending to other people’s mistakes and are quite indifferent to various political aspects that do not relating to their personally. Invitation to the local house is a great honor for any foreigner and can be viewed as a manifestation of great respect for the guest (however, it will not be here: if they do not respect – they do not even invite the teahouse). Refuse to invitations or offer to make their contribution (food or money) to the outlined banquet extremely risky – despite its financial capabilities (often extremely scanty) for the guest will be covered with the best table and its ignoring – a severe insult to the family. However, small presents will be favorably regarded by the owners of the house – flowers, sweets, tobacco or small souvenirs (in no case alcohol!). However, it is not necessary to praise a house, children, decorations, some interior items or a traditional wealth for a local man – weapons. This is due to the fact that in local beliefs should give the guest of any item that he liked, as if important, he was not for the host himself. In order to avoid misunderstandings in this issue, it is accepted here three times to repeat its proposal regarding this invitation to visit or any gift. If praise was told "For red sense", It is possible to abandon what has been said, retaining and honoring the owner (he offered, but the guest refused) and his property.
From hard local "taboo" It should be strictly taken into account only by the rules for many countries of the Islamic world – it is impossible to pass in front of a praying person, it is impossible to direct the legs of the feet on other people (even when visiting the Afghan home or mosque, when it should be happening, the shoes should be folded to the sole and put in a specially designated for this place), do not take or serve something with your left hand (it is used for personal hygiene) and especially – take it food, before meals and after it is sure to abormal hands, you can not touch the head of a person (especially a child, and just touch other people are not recommended), you can not enter the female half of the house and so on.
Special attention should be paid to gesticulation – like many inhabitants of the Middle Eastern and Arab countries, Afghans use a complex gesture system in communication, while many of our ordinary movements may well be offensive in local concepts.
Afghan men at a meeting humble hands (often both) hugging and kissing each other on the cheek, but it should be borne in mind that this is allowed only to familiar with each other. Touch to representatives of the opposite sex, and often just refer to them with a greeting, prohibited, and with strangers it is better to greet the semi-clone and the applied right hand to the heart (however, it depends a lot here on the traditions of a particular tribal group).
Afghans eat on the floor (even in most restaurants), on a specially unsettled oilcloth or the cat, on which cakes are laid out and dishes are settled. And here it is quite acceptable from the total dish (usually one on three people), and from individual dishes. Food is taken by hand (only right, although the left is permissible to hold the cake). Instead of a spoon ("Chamcha") A tortilla and knife are used, although the spoons on the table are usually also available (they usually scratch the sauce) or they are brought on the first requirement. Throw away the unbearable, especially bread, indecently, so everything, even crumbs, are going from the table (brushes to the floor it is impossible!) and add up to special containers – then they will go either on cattle cattle, or in favor of the poor. Before and after meals, tea is necessarily served, most often green, it can also be sized food, although it is usually a clean water. The sequence of feeding is depends only on the owner’s shipping and tribal traditions. Behind food should be silent – you can only talk to a conversation after a direct question or the instructions of the owner of the house or the oldest person at the table. In any case, like everywhere on Earth, a conversation with a stuffed mouth will only cause perplexity.
Afghans are one of the smoking people in Asia. "Smoke" here you can almost everywhere, only in mosques and at the table it is not accepted, and it is not everywhere. Accept the cigarette offered by the owner – one of the marks of attention and confidence.
As in many other countries of the region, the local analogue of the bidet is used instead of toilet paper or just a water jug. All natural needs Local men send sitting. Swim accepted only in running water, so there are practically no baths anywhere.