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Thread: The ethnic groups of Afghanistan

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    Default The ethnic groups of Afghanistan

    When people say "Afghan," they probably think of Afghan Pashtuns and Tajiks. However, a lot of people who are Afghan do not belong to those two ethnicities, approximately 40% of Afghans do not. All these ethnic groups are just as Afghan as one another. This thread is to help people recognize the full diversity of people in Afghanistan, a very misunderstood country. All the Afghan ethnic groups are beautiful.

    INB4 "AFGHANISTAN IS NOT IN THE MIDDLE EAST!!!!"' Yes, I know that, but this was the least of the bad sections available.

    Pashtuns






    Pashtuns are the main ethnic group in Afghanistan. They are an Eastern Iranian people, who's language closely related to Pamiri. Approximately 42% of Afghans are pashtuns. More Pashtuns live in neighboring Pakistan than in Afghanistan. This is due to the Duranid Line boundary issue which was created which divided former Afghan land. However, most Afghan and Pakistani Pashtuns ignore the border and treat it as Afghan land to this day.

    Pashtuns are a very tribal people and their culture is formed on the base of pashtunwali code

    Pashtunwali (or Pakhtunwali) refers to an ancient self-governing tribal system that regulates nearly all aspects of Pashtun life ranging from community to personal level. Numerous intricate tenets of Pashtunwali influence Pashtun social behaviour. One of the better known tenets is Melmastia, hospitality and asylum to all guests seeking help. Perceived injustice calls for Badal, swift revenge. One guide on Pakistan claims that the famous phrase Revenge is a dish best served cold is of Pashtun origin, borrowed by the British and popularised in the West,[88] Males are expected to protect Zan, Zar, Zmaka (females, gold and land). Many aspects promote peaceful co-existence, such as Nanawati, the humble admission of guilt for a wrong committed, which should result in automatic forgiveness from the wronged party. These and other basic precepts of Pashtunwali continue to be followed by many Pashtuns, especially in rural areas.

    A prominent institution of the Pashtun people is the intricate system of tribes. The Pashtuns remain a predominantly tribal people, but the worldwide trend of urbanisation has begun to alter Pashtun society as cities such as Kandahar, Peshawar, Quetta and Kabul have grown rapidly due to the influx of rural Pashtuns. Despite this trend of urbanisation, many people still identify themselves with various clans.
    The culture itself is obviously largely Iranian, but has influences from the Greeks, Indians, Turkics, and Arabs (if you count religion).

    One of the biggest non-religious holidays is the persian Norwuz (Persian new year). This holiday is celebrated widely. Albanians, Tatars, Persians, Uzbeks, Tatars, Turks, Pashtuns, Balochis, Kazakhs, Parsis, Georgians, Azeris, Tabassarans, Tajiks, Lezgins, Lurs, Talyshs, Ossetians, Ughyurs, and many other ethnic groups around the area celebrate this holiday as well. It is an highly Iranic holiday and stems from our ancient religion (Zorostrianism), but also celebrated by people in the Balkans and Russia as well. It is usually celebrated around March 21st every year. So this holiday is celebrated by not only the pashtuns but virtually almost everyone in Afghanistan.

    Tajiks



    Afghan Tajiks are the second largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. They make up roughly a quarter of Afghanistan's population. Tajiks speak an Eastern Persian dialect called "Dari." This is also one of the official languages of Afghanistan.

    Tajiks are less tribal than Pashtuns, but they are a very interesting people. Their culture greatly overlaps with pashtuns in terms of traditions, languages, and culture. They are the closest ethnic group to Afghan Pashtuns in terms of everything.

    Pamiri Tajiks also fall under this, but I'll give them their own section.

    Hazaras



    Hazaras in Afghanistan are Persian speaking. Hazaras are descended from mongolian settlers who mixed with the local population. Depsite becoming pashtunified and persianified, many have retained their original Turkic customs and still practice them in Afghanistan, and it is beautiful. Hazaras tie with Uzbeks in being the third largest population(s) in Afghanistan. Hazaras and Uzbeks both individually make up 9% of Afghanistan's population, (meaning together, they make up 18%).

    Uzbeks



    Uzbeks, like Pashtuns, are a tribal people. Afghanistan has the second largest Uzbek population, and Uzbeks and Afghans go way back. Uzbeks are a Turanid Turkic ethnic group who have strong ties to the Central Asian steepe. As mentioned earlier, Uzbeks make up 9% of Afghans, and tie with Hazaras in being the third largest afghan population. Uzbeks in Afghanistan are a mixture of recent migrants and some are there from historic times some the fall of many Persian and Central Asian empires.

    Though Uzbeks have a large affinity to Iranics, they are a Turkic people and have retained a lot of their Turkic culture.

    Aimaq



    The Aimaqs are a Persian speaking people. They are extremely similar to Hazaras, with the exception of the Aimaqs being Sunni Muslim and not Shiia Muslim like the Hazaras are.


    Turkmens




    The Turkmens who speak a Turkic language make up 3% of Afghans and are known for being extremely moderate and laidback muslims.

    Balochis




    The Balochis are another Eastern Iranian people, being somewhat similar to Pashtuns and Tajiks. They make up 2% of Afghans. They speak Balochi.

    Pamiris


    Pamiri Tajiks are extremely linguistically and ethnically close to Afghan Pashtuns and Tajiks. They also share ties with other Central Asians as well, culturally, since they are spread out across Afghanistan, Tajikstan, and even China.


    Nuristanis



    The Nuristanis live in Eastern Afghanistan. They are interesting in that they are not Iranic, but their own sub-branch of Indo-Iranian called "Nuristani." They were said to be descended from the Greeks, but genetics have proved that the Kalash (who are probably more or less similar to a good portion Nuristanis) are genetically related to other populations in the area and don't have connections with Greeks. The rumor of them descending from Greeks probably stemmed from the Nuristanis having a high rate of blondism (which is weird cause Greeks aren't even known for being blonde). The Nuristanis and the Kalash have had in iffy history with Pashtuns and Indic groups, with both trying to assimilate them. The Nuristanis are now muslim, but the both the Kalash and the Nuristani have retained most of their culture and have done a good job preserving the original indo-aryan cultures of AfghanIstan.

    Other ethnic groups in Afghanistan include Arabs, Gujjars, and Brahuis, who make up 4% of Afghans together
    Last edited by Myanthropologies; 10-08-2016 at 09:31 PM.

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    Nuristanis descend from Albanian Ghegs who were in Alexander's army.

    "Nuristanis were depicted as their pre-Islamic past the Kafiristanis, (infidels) as one of peoples inhabiting Kafiristan (infidel land) Rudyard Kipling's book called The Man Who Would Be King which was then made into a film. The book was published in 1888, eight years before Nuristan was conquered and converted to Islam by Emir Abdur Rahman Khan."
    Last edited by wvwvw; 10-07-2016 at 11:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raine View Post
    Nuristanis descend from Albanian Ghegs who were in Alexander's army.

    "Nuristanis were depicted as their pre-Islamic past the Kafiristanis, (infidels) as one of peoples inhabiting Kafiristan (infidel land) Rudyard Kipling's book called The Man Who Would Be King which was then made into a film. The book was published in 1888, eight years before Nuristan was conquered and converted to Islam by Emir Abdur Rahman Khan."
    No they dont. My mom is like a quarter or half (she has nuristani grandparents from both sides) nuristani and someone on her side of the family took a DNA test and absolutely no Albanian blood came up.
    Learn some about Afghans here
    http://www.theapricity.com/forum/sho...of-Afghanistan

    Indian Genomics can be modeled by four-way populations, not two way populations. Read more in this thread:
    https://www.theapricity.com/forum/sh...tion-structure

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myanthropologies View Post
    No they dont. My mom is like a quarter nuristani and someone on her side of the family took a DNA test and absolutely no Albanian blood came up.
    But it wouldn't show in her dna test, what were you expecting to find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raine View Post
    But it wouldn't show in her dna test, what were you expecting to find.
    If we had Balkanic blood, it would have showed ya know. My mom did say she might be part Bulgarian, but I doubt that's true. Nuristanis probably overlap with Pamiris. They're a bit different from the Kalash. Her grandparents from nuristani look like pamiris and the dna test looked very Caucasus shifted like my paternal cousins as well. So they seem to overlap with pashtuns from my dad's area.
    Learn some about Afghans here
    http://www.theapricity.com/forum/sho...of-Afghanistan

    Indian Genomics can be modeled by four-way populations, not two way populations. Read more in this thread:
    https://www.theapricity.com/forum/sh...tion-structure

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    Some Nuristanis are basically pashtuns too, they're diverse.
    Learn some about Afghans here
    http://www.theapricity.com/forum/sho...of-Afghanistan

    Indian Genomics can be modeled by four-way populations, not two way populations. Read more in this thread:
    https://www.theapricity.com/forum/sh...tion-structure

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    Hazaras are my favorite

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chocolatelover View Post
    Hazaras are my favorite
    They are really oppressed atm. Afghanistan is kind of shitty to them and something needs to be done about that. Pakistan is just even worse to them.
    Learn some about Afghans here
    http://www.theapricity.com/forum/sho...of-Afghanistan

    Indian Genomics can be modeled by four-way populations, not two way populations. Read more in this thread:
    https://www.theapricity.com/forum/sh...tion-structure

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myanthropologies View Post
    They are really oppressed atm. Afghanistan is kind of shitty to them and something needs to be done about that. Pakistan is just even worse to them.
    They are not really oppressed anymore and play an important role in the Afghan political scene and other spheres.

    Nuristanis aren't Dardic, they are distinct from Indo-Aryans/Dardics and Iranics.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuristani_languages

    Nowroz is more associated with Tajiks than Pashtuns so I'm not sure why you included it under Pashtuns!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Registan View Post
    They are not really oppressed anymore and play an important role in the Afghan political scene and other spheres.

    Nuristanis aren't Dardic, they are distinct from Indo-Aryans/Dardics and Iranics.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuristani_languages

    Nowroz is more associated with Tajiks than Pashtuns so I'm not sure why you included it under Pashtuns!
    It's associated with Pasthuns too! We celebrate it every year. I out it under Pasthuns first because I mentioned Pasthuns first. But I also noted all afghans celebrate Norwuz.
    Learn some about Afghans here
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    Indian Genomics can be modeled by four-way populations, not two way populations. Read more in this thread:
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