Based on the declaration, if anyone violated these rules, there would be a fine of , afghanis about 2, US dollars. At the same time, in the western area of Andar, the local Taleban fighters supported the implementation of the reduced bride price andalso played a role in convincing the tribal elders to set the rules. Positive effects of these local initiatives to regulate wedding costs and bride price were reported to AAN.
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For example, Sahibzada, the head of a reform council in south-eastern Paktika, explained that the tribal agreement he had been part of deciding on had resulted in a major rise in the number of weddings in the district from a few to a hundred weddings a year. He said that now there were fewer unmarried young men and women, and fewer young men had to go abroad to earn money in order to get married. The reduction of the bride price, however, had unintended negative consequences.
Based on interviews with local residents in Khost province, the reduction in the bride price to , afghanis about 3, US dollars , in the Lakani area of the provincial capital, resulted in people coming to Lakani from other parts of the province in order to find local girls that they could marry to their sons for a lower bride price. Although unwilling to abandon the reduced bride price altogether, it was unacceptable to the Lakani people that outsiders were taking advantage of the situation. When the initiative to reduce bride price found its way to Ghazni province, people in Qarabagh district initially welcomed it, and also decided to set a standard lower bride price.
However, in Andar district, the idea was challenged first by local mullahs and then by tribal elders. For example, when people in late and early came together in western Andar district and decided to set the bride price at , afghanis about 5, US dollars , two famous mullahs, one from Alizai village and another from Shado village, resisted. They told the community that the reduction of bride price was a violation of the rights of the woman to be married. Interestingly, one theory was that these mullahs resisted the new rules because they themselves have many daughters and a few sons, which means if the bride price were reduced they would be able to earn less money.
When the first mullah, from Alizai, resisted the new bride price policy the Taleban visited him and thereafter he no longer resisted. However, the Taleban reportedly did not approach the mullah from Shado village. While these attempts clearly indicate that communities are interested in some form of regulation to reduce and possibly even in the long-term abolish the bride price, the implementation, in particular in conservative communities, seems to hamper these efforts.
Wedding costs and especially bride price are deeply rooted customs in Afghan society, and bride price, in particular, has important economic consequences for the families of the bride and the groom. Efforts to regulate bride price through legislation or national policies have tended to remain poorly implemented, or when implemented, contested. The most notorious efforts to regulate bride prices were adopted during the Taraki government and contributed to the downfall of that government.
Local initiatives seem to have been more successful in their implementation, which may not be surprising as they, when successful, are local solutions developed to solve what is perceived as a local problem. However, as noted above, local solutions have also had unintended negative consequences. A possible conclusion of this is that national initiatives to reduce bride price and wedding costs need to be well anchored within local decision-making structures and local realities.
The law also regulates other wedding expenses. According to this news story , the law prescribes that the number of wedding guests cannot exceed and limits the food cost to no more than afghanis 5. Wedding hall owners who allow more than guests per wedding will face a penalty of 30, afghanis ,68 US dollars for their first offence and will have their permits rescinded if it happens again.
However, though the parliament passed the marriage law in April , at the time of writing this dispatch, it had not been ratified by the president and had not been sent to the Ministry of Justice to be published in the official gazette. So far, AAN is not aware of any examples where these limits were enforced or where penalties were issued. However, this interpretation as well as mahr as a requirement for a nikah the legal contract between a bride and a groom in an Islamic marriage , is disputed even among Afghan Islamic scholars.
At the same time, anecdotal evidence suggests that some mullahs in Kabul and other provinces have not accepted a nikah as valid unless it included stipulations regarding mahr. In fact, some of these mullahs insisted on re-marrying already married couples in order to provide them with a valid nikah that included the amount of mahr.
While the amount of mahr needs to be indicated in a nikah , Islamic law and its practice does allow for a wide array of payment options such as cash, jewellery or property and it does not have to be paid in full immediately. Under the terms of musma, the amount of mahr is decided at the time the nikah is prepared, but the groom can either pay the amount immediately or at a later point.
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Under the condition of mesl , the mahr is not decided and not paid on the day of the nikah signing, but if the wife later asks her husband for mahr then the husband should pay. Again these practices and traditions are different in every region. For example, in most of the Pashtun-dominated parts of Ghazni province the groom agrees to provide additional goods during bride price negotiations. These goods can include flour, rice, firewood, cooking oil, clothing, cattle to be slaughtered and served to guests on the wedding day, money to pay the imam and cooks for the wedding.
In most of the central and northern provinces practices are different. For instance, in Balkh province, the groom is expected to purchase jewellery, pay the wedding hall costs, hold a pre-marriage party called shirini khuri , purchase two special wedding clothes outfits for the bride, prepare a kilogramme cake for the wedding day and make a big invitation after the wedding which is called takht jami.
The Afghan tradition of paying for wives. Gender , social affairs , Women rights Thematic Category: Bolani is another Afghan dumpling dish — a piece of thin rolled dough the size of an egg roll filled with vegetables, fried in oil and served with chatni chutney.
Afghanistan has its first national park, Band-e Amir, in Bamyan province, the city that is also home of two Buddhas that were destroyed by the Taliban. Marriages are usually arranged among Afghans. Dating between a man and woman rarely happens in big cities like Kabul or Mazar. When it does, it is only out of the sight of families through secret phone conversations or visiting in public spaces. In most cases the family of the girl asks for dowry. Wedding festivals are usually very big.
More than 1, people are invited, everyone is fed, and brides are gifted with large amounts of gold jewelry and luxurious outfits. There are usually three separate parties. The night is full of music, dance and food. The second is the big day of the wedding where men and women are invited in two separate wedding halls. The third is the after-wedding party where women come and bring gifts to the newly wedded couple. Foreign females must learn to read the rules and live by them. If a man speaks to you directly in a social context, he is dishonouring you. If someone speaks to you on the street, that is equally inappropriate.
You should avoid looking men in the eyes, and keep your eyes lowered when you walk down the street to maintain your reputation as a proper woman. Women must always dress properly to avoid unwanted attention. Always wear loose fitting pants under your skirts and be sure the definition of your legs is indistinguishable.
It is also strongly advisable to wear a headscarf in public. On the other hand foreign men should note that it is inappropriate to initiate social conversation with a woman, and one should not ask a male about his wife or female relatives. Men and women should never be alone in the same room. If this happens you should ensure a door is left open. Men and women should never touch one another under any circumstances. Gift Giving Etiquette First rule of gift giving is to never give alcohol.
However, if you know from first hand experience that the receiver drinks you may do so but covertly to avoid shame. The first time you go to someone's house for tea, it is appropriate to bring a small gift. If you are invited to lunch or dinner, bring fruit, sweets or pastries. Make sure the box is wrapped nicely.
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When bringing a gift be subtle in how it is given. Do not immediately give the present but rather discreetly place it near the door or where you sit down. When it comes to wrapping gifts there is no special protocol. Green is good for weddings. Dining Etiquette Dining in Afghanistan is a different experience and there are many differences in etiquette. If eating at someone's home, you will be seated on o the floor, usually on cushions. Food is served on plastic or vinyl tablecloths spread on the floor.
Wait to be shown where to sit. If you can, sit cross-legged. Otherwise sit as comfortably as you can. Do not site with legs outstretched and your feet facing people.
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Food is generally served communally and everyone will share from the same dish. Do not eat with the left hand. Always pass and receive things using your right hand too. It will be a case of watch and learn. Food is usually scooped up into a ball at the tip of the fingers, then eaten. Leave food on your plate otherwise it will keep getting filled up again. They therefore carry a sense of importance and prestige. If you are given a business card, take it respectfully and study it so that they see that you are spending time considering their credentials. Comment on it and any qualifications the giver may have.
Try not to keep cards in your pocket - slip it into a holder and somewhere else respectful. There is no real protocol used for exchanging cards except to use your right hand. It may be a good idea to have your card translated into Dari or Pashtu. Make sure you don't "translate" the address. Men should wear conservative suits and shoes. If working in the country in a non-commercial capacity then wearing the traditional Afghan dress long shirt and trousers is best. Women must always dress modestly and conservatively.