Will The Real Afghans Please Stand Up?

Before I began blogging, I read some tips and tricks on how to maintain a successful blog; one of the tips was to write to an audience that is most likely to share. Crap, Afghans rarely help other Afghans; they criticize instead. Even though I do write about life, philosophy, and empowering young ladies, the main reason I began my blog was to share the side of Afghanistan you don’t see in the news. Now, how am I supposed to spread the word when I know that a part of my audience isn’t so likely to share.

In Afghan culture, when we get together for family functions or parties we usually say faaqahi, I know it sounds like the f-word but it’s not, it’s a term for a riddle/joke.

So there was this faaqahi that I wanted to share with you guys that best describes what I’m trying to say:

Judgement Day had finally fallen upon the world and the angels began sending people either to heaven or hell. This hell was filled with several fiery ditches– one for each ethnicity. There was a ditch for the Europeans, the Hispanics, the Africans, etc., then finally the fiery ditch for the Afghans. Guarding each ditch were these macho, strong, tall security people with torches who would hit the sinners who wanted to escape out of their fiery pit. One day the angels were making rounds, looking over the ditches to make sure all was well when one day, a new angel worker asked why there weren’t any guards overlooking the Afghan ditch. “Well,” began one of the senior angels, “we don’t have to worry about any Afghans escaping, because when one of them tries to climb up the ladder, there’s always someone behind them pulling on their legs and bringing them down.”

The point I want to make is to let Afghans know that we need to stick together in order to progress, keep our culture alive, and basically just help one another. Last week, my Polish friend went to one of her Afghan friend’s engagement party and posted the pictures on facebook. She was on her account on my laptop and said, “wow, it’s hard to distinguish Afghan from Indian because the bride’s outfit kind of looks Indian.” Kind of? When I saw what the soon-to-be bride was wearing, I became a little upset. She was wearing a traditional Indian bride outfit. Beautiful? yes, is it ours? nope. Instead of wearing traditional Afghan clothing or just regular American clothing, she chose a traditional Indian dress. Why? It’s not like we don’t have a culture or tradition of our own. I know you left your country, but you didn’t leave your culture. It seems that the Afghans who have settled in America, Canada, Germany, etc., are forgetting their roots. Our culture is very rich in tradition, so why not follow it? We have beautiful traditional clothing, so why not wear it? (Especially on important occasions–like your engagement party).

As an Afghan, I would help out my fellow Afghans who aspire to be singers, writers, directors, and serve as positive role models for the young Afghan generation. Since Afghans don’t have an equivalent of a Hollywood or Bollywood, they look to see what’s the closest thing and just follow that. Don’t be lazy, Afghans, get up and create your own Hollywood. There is no reason for us to copy another culture, we should take pride in what we have and help each other climb the ladder of success. So come on, will the real Afghans please stand up?

Peace & Love,

Bena…

Here are some traditional Afghan dresses :)

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