Afghan Culture

Other Considerations

  • “Afghani” refers to the currency of money in Afghanistan and should not be used to describe the Afghan people.
  • The burqa existed in Afghanistan before the Taliban's rise to power, but was not worn as frequently. The Taliban regime enforced a policy that required women to wear a burqa whenever moving outside of their home. This custom has now become the cultural norm, with the burqa worn commonly throughout all urban areas in Afghanistan. Some liberal women may prefer not to wear the burqa but still dress very conservatively and wear a head covering of some sort to avoid unwanted attention. This is especially common among Afghan women living in Western countries. Many wear a loose scarf or type of hijab that covers their hair. Consider that many Muslim Afghan women choose not to wear any head covering. Attitudes and choices vary depending on the individual.
  • Friday is a holy day for Muslims. In Afghanistan, most businesses close on this day and Thursday in respect of that. This means the ‘weekend’ falls on Thursday and Friday instead of Saturday and Sunday.
  • Consider that some individuals may be illiterate and require an interpreter to assist them in reading material. Literacy levels vary depending on which region in Afghanistan the person is from, as well as their migration journey. 
  • Most Afghan women are not taught how to drive in Afghanistan and many do not have a valid driver’s licence living in other countries. They may be reliant on male family members for transport.
  • Afghans generally consider dogs to be unclean and will generally want to wash their hands after coming in contact with one. Some people may be quite afraid of dogs.
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