What are the four key elements of Afghan customs to keep in mind?

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Afghan Customs - this can be defined as those actions and activities groups of people do which identify them as a unique group.

There are four main elements which all foreigners should keep in mind at all times when interacting with Afghans.

A good guideline is to consciously practice these until they become habits influencing unconsciously all your interactions with Afghans.

These elements do not really change, even though customs themselves may vary from people group to people group within Afghanistan.

So what are the four practical areas of visitors should really be aware of as they interact with Afghans?

Politeness, Time, Hospitality, and Social Structure.

afghan customs

Even Afghans themselves will at times contradict each other on how things should be done. This stems from their upbringing (village culture vs. city culture), their ethnic group, their education level, as well as their personal views on how Islam can (and should) interact with the western cultures.

There are some generalities we can provide, however, which will greatly enhance a visitor's possibility of success in navigating the culture without causing undue offense.

The following information on Afghan culture has been adapted with permission from Interlit, the publishers of Enjoy Afghanistan. 2004.

Interlit Foundation is one of the few cultural experts we can point to with a long history of working in Afghanistan before Afghanistan became popular. Interlit specializes in producing practical cultural material for Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan.

Politeness, Time, Hospitality, and Social Structure.

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