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Welcome to our guide to Afghanistan. You may be going to Afghanistan on business, for a visit or even hosting Afghani colleagues or clients in your own country. Remember this is only a very basic level introduction and is not meant to stereotype all Afghanis you may meet.
When meeting someone the handshake is the most common form of greeting. You will also see people place their hands over their hearts and nod slightly. One should always inquire about things like a person’s health, business, family, etc. Women and men will never shake hands let alone speak directly to one another. Eye contact should also be avoided between men and women. Between men eye contact is acceptable as long as it is not prolonged – it is best to only occasionally look someone in the eyes.
Hospitality is an essential aspect of Afghan culture, no matter whom you are, if you visit a home you will be given the best the family has. This relates back to the idea of gaining honour; if you are invited for tea, which you inevitably will be, you will be offered snacks and your tea glass will be constantly filled. When you have had enough cover the glass with your hand and say “bus” (meaning ‘enough’).
1- Ahmad: Hello
احمد: اسلام علیکم
2- Mahmud: Hello, How are you? Are you good?
محمود: وعلیکم سلام څنګه یاست؟ ښه یاست؟
3- Ahmad: Thanks to God, (I am good) How about you?
احمد: شکر دی. تاسی څنګه یاست؟
4- Mahmud: Thanks, I am good.
محمود: مننه ښه یم
5- Ahmad: What is your name?
احمد: ستاسو نوم څه دی؟
6- Mahmud: My name is Mahmud.
محمود: زما نوم محمود
7- Ahmad: Mahmud, My name is Ahmad, nice to meet you.
احمد: محمود، زما نوم احمد دی. خوشحاله شوم
8- Mahmud: nice to meet you too. Where are you from?
محمود: زه هم خوشحاله شوم. تاسی د کوم ځای یاست؟
9- Ahmad: I am from America.
احمد: زه د امریکا یمه
10- Mahmud: I am an Afghan. محمود: زه افغان یم