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Contrast, Culture and Big Mountains

January 26, 2011

There is no such thing as ”Afghan culture”, instead there is a fascinating blend of people, approaches, beliefs and relationships.

In the UK our perception of Afghanistan is dominated by the main body of our people in the South West, Kandahar and Helmand provinces. We see very little coverage of elsewhere in the country. Afghanistan ranges from the flat, arid desert of the West to towering mountains in the East. It was from Afghanistan that Babur, the first of the Moghul Emperors started the dynasty that would come to dominate the Indian sub-continent for three hundred years until finally supplanted by the British Raj. It served as an arena for the cold war of the 19th Century between the British Empire and that of Russia, known as the Great Game. The country has a lot of proud history, and that carries forward into the environment that ISAF operates in today. A major criticism of the Taliban regime was that the history was not well known, a consequence of originating in a refugee population struggling to survive during the Russian occupation of the country.

Think you know about the country; the people and it’s history? Read the full version of Alistair Rae’s blog here

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2011 00:18

    I agree asa fibre artist I am fasciated by the Persian textiles Afghanistan textile culture and how these designs travel form one culture to another.Would love to see images of them if you have time .
    God bless

  2. January 27, 2011 03:43

    For all the “culture training” I got before my two deployments, I concluded they were like if a guy from Texas gave somebody from Japan cluture training on what he thought it was like in London, England—keeping in mind the dude from Texas was not required to have actually been to London.

    In other words, all the training we were given on the culture of Iraq and Bosnia was rubbish.

    If anybody who actually studied culture training knew, a countries culture can vary from one city or village to another.

  3. Barry Sheridan permalink
    January 27, 2011 14:32

    An informative article that gives some idea of the scope of the challenge facing anyone who has to work within Afghanistan. Keep up the good work.

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