Let's learn about our neighbours: Now comes AfghanistanI am sorry that I almost forgot about this series which I myself started. Today, we will talk about this hilly country, which is our neighbour (bordering PoK). Let us learn some interesting facts about Afghanistan.
(a) Although we address them as Afghans in general, Afghanistan is ethnically very diverse. At least 14 different communities live in the country, some of which are Pushtun, Hazara, Nooristani, Uzbeck, Brahui, Tajik, Turkmen, Pamiri, etc.
(b) The Afghan government adopted a newly written national anthem in 2006. This new national anthem indicates all 14 ethnic groups.
(c) Although Talibans destroyed the Buddha statues in Bamiyan, the surrounding caves still exist. These caves were originally used as meditation chambers by Buddhist monks. These caves are UNESCO-protected sites.
(d) Afghans celebrate New Year's Eve on 21 March. This date marks the pre-Islamic festival known as ''Nowraz''. It is also traditionally the first day of spring. Although Afghans are 99% Muslims, this ''Nowraz'' festival indicates the influence of Parsis.
(e) Afghanistan's national sport is ''buzkashi'' or goat-grabbing. This violent and dangerous game involves riders on horseback trying to control a goat carcass. Afghans have tried many a times to include this sports in Olympics.
(f) In the western city of Herat, men and women from all generations gather together on Thursday evenings to celebrate both old and new poetry. Participants also listen to traditional Herati music.
(g) Afghanistan supplies over 90% of the world's opium. The drugs trade is a significant contributor to Afghanistan's economy.
(h) The currency of Afghanistan is Afghani. The conversion rate of this currency is 1000 INR=1068.53 Afghanis.
The poverty-stricken, war-ravaged country has many more interesting features. Planning to visit this country?