Afghan Nekah and wedding

Posted on 25. Nov, 2013 by in culture

Afghan society is very family oriented. Many social events and traditional ceremonies are celebrated with immediate and extended family members, neighbors, and friends. Being a traditional society, Afghanistan has many ceremonies with roots in tradition and religion. Two important occasions that bring friends and relatives together are births and weddings (عروسى). (Dari Alphabet for عروسى ع ر و س ى)

In the countryside, the birth of a baby boy may be celebrated with gunfire if the boy is born to well-off parents. Relatives, friends, and neighbors visit and a major celebration takes place on the sixth evening after the birth, and people bring gifts for the newborn.

Afghans marriages take place through matchmaking by parents and/or older relatives.

Engagement is a smaller ceremony called shireeni khori, (شيريني خوري) eating sweets. (Dari Alphabet for شيريني خوري خ و ر ى – ش ى ر ن ى  )

Preparations for the wedding are elaborate and take place days in advance. On the eve of the wedding, the religious ceremony called nekah (نکاح) (Dari Alphabet for نکاح ن ک ا ه )

takes place first. This is when the bride must audibly agree to her marriage to the groom in order for the marriage to be legal. Nekah is attended by close family members of the bride and the groom. Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract; both bride and groom have the liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this contract.

Mahr (مهر) (Dari Alphabet for مهر م ه ر)

The marriage-gift (Mahr) is a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract.

Sermon (خطبه نکاح) (Dari Alphabet for خطبه نکاح خ ط ب ه  ن ک ا ه )

The assembly of nikah is addressed with a marriage sermon (khutba-tun-nikah) by the Muslim official. In marriage societies, normally, a state appointed Muslim judge called Qazi (قاضى) (Dari Alphabet for قاضى ق ا ض ى) the nikah ceremony and keeps the record of the marriage contract. However any trust worthy practicing Muslim can conduct the nikah ceremony, as Islam does not advocate priesthood. The documents of marriage contract/certificate are filed with the mosque (masjid) and local government for record.

After the sermon all members praise each other and elaborate feast, music, and dancing follow.


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What is that Mountain Proverb in Dari?

Posted on 22. Jul, 2013 by in culture, language

Kabul, TV Mountain

Today’s post is a response to one of our readers who have asked us to teach him the Dari proverb that says, “There is a road to the top of even the highest mountain”.  No wonder Afghans use mountains in their proverbs. When you go to Afghanistan there are very few places that you will not see mountains. They are everywhere! Anyways, let’s get to the bottom of the proverb about the mountain. The proverb in Dari is کوه هر قدر بلند باشد باز هم سر خود راه دارد.                [ koh har dadar boland bashad baaz ham sar e khod rah


This proverb is used to motivate people to not give up and keep trying. Sometimes it is also used to describe that regardless of how powerful someone is there is still someone else more powerful than him or her. It can be used in many different contexts, however as the learners of Dari as a second language I encourage you to go for the first option and use it to motivate people, because that is the most appropriate and common use. Also other usages require a deeper understanding of the context and culture.

The following is the vocabulary used in the proverb:

کوه          koh                         mountain

بلند        boland                    high

باز هم     baaz-ham              still

راه         rah                         way/path/road

دارد       darad                    He/she/it has

And finally, here is the literal translation of the proverb: “however much a mountain higher is, still on it

a way it has.” We usually include the literal translation of the resentences in order to help you see how the structures of the sentences in Dari work. For example, in the literal translation above, we can see that the verb “has” is at the very end of the sentence which shows us that the verb in Dari comes at the very end of a sentence.

Please leave your comments and questions in the comment area and we will be happy to respond.

Afghan Dari Proverbs

Posted on 24. Feb, 2013 by in culture, language

proverbsAfghanistan has a rich oral tradition. Using proverbs and verses of poetry in conversation is very common among the people, both educated and uneducated. While English language also has some proverbs but they are rarely used in daily communication . In Afghan proverbs and verses of poetry are used to get important point across; it also shows the wisdom of those who use it.

In this blog post we will introduce you to some very common Afghan proverbs.

1.      Qatra qatra darya maisha.

The literal meaning of the proverb above is (drop drop river becomes.) as we remember from our previous blog posts that the verb comes at the end of a sentence and here in the literal translation you see that the verb is at the end. The meaning of this proverb is that drops make a river. It is used to encourage people that regardless of how little they are able to do; it still counts and means a lot because if we continuem some day we will achieve our goal. For instance if someone argues that they don’t recycle because their efforts will not make much difference, we can tell them qatra qatra darya maisha. Which means that if everyone of us contribute even a little, combined together it will have a huge impact. It can be used in many different situations.

2.      Haich gul bay khaar naist.

This proverbs means: There is No flower without thorns. It indicates that as human beings we all have flaws and shortcomings and no one is perfect.

3.      Durugh-go hafiza nadarad.

The literal meaning of this proverb is ( liar memory does not have.). It means that a liar is forgetful because they have said so many lies that they can not remember them and might give two different accounts of the same incident.

4.      Joyenda yabenda ast.

This proverb literally means (a seeker a founder is). The literal meaning is important because it will help the students of Dari language to identify every word in the proverb and also know the structure of the sentence in Dari. This proverb means that a seeker is a finder. If you are determined to do something and you don’t give up, you will eventually succeed.

 Pleas watch the accompanying video of correct pronunciation of the proverbs.

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