Pashtun culture

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Pashtun culture (Pashto: پښتني هڅوب‎) is based on Islam and Pashtunwali, which is an ancient way of life, as well as speaking of the Pashto language and wearing Pashtun dress. The culture of the Pashtun people is highlighted since at least the time of Herodotus (484-425 BC) or Alexander the Great, when he explored the Afghanistan and Pakistan region in 330 BC. The Pashtun culture has little outside influence and over the ages, has retained a great degree of purity.


Main article: Pashtun dress

Pashtun men usually wear a Partoog-Korteh in Pashto(salwar kameez is Urdu)with a pakul (Pashtun hat). In the Kandahar region young men usually wear different type of hat similar to a topi and in the Peshawar region they wear white kufis instead. Leaders or tribal chiefs sometimes wear a karakul hat, like Hamid Karzai and others. The Pashtun Lungee (or Paktay) is the most worn headpiece in Afghanistan with different tribes having different styles and colours to indicate what tribe or region they come from.

Women and girls wear traditional long dresses with a light piece of cloth used to cover their hair.


Main article: Pashtun cuisine




Buzkashi and polo[edit]

Further information: Buzkashi

Some Pashtuns in Central Asia participate in buzkashi, which is a sport introduced in the region during the Mongol period from the 13th century and onward. The word "buz" means "goat" and "kashi" means "dragging" or "pulling" in the Persian language. The basic objective is to carry the headless carcass of a calf or goat around a flag and back to the starting point while on horseback with other riders trying to do the same thing by taking the carcass away from you. Not a team sport, it is every man for himself and that becomes apparent as soon as the game starts. It is played on a large open dusty field which does not appear to have many boundaries. The game is a microcosm of power politics in Afghanistan. Although buskashi is primarily an individual sport, alliances are built up between various players. Between the alliances, the strongest players finally take control (or in this case the remnants of a headless calf) and ride off to victory.


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