Growing Up Afghan: My Personal Picks From Afghan Tweeps Across The World


Every once in a while, Afghanistan-related hashtags become a hot topic and make their way high enough in the social media sphere. Although the #GrowingUpAfghan hashtag first made its way in 2011, it only just gained some serious momentum in July 2015.

I was away on a short holiday in an isolated island when I couldn’t go to Kabul for Eid Al Fitr celebrations when this hashtag was as its peak but I’m glad it didn’t go unnoticed. Below, I’ve put together a collection of some of my personal favorites (in no specific order or category). Some of these tweets resonated with me on a personal level, others were just very typical of our “Afghan-ness”.

Read my comments in the captions of these tweets.

Great participation from everyone!

p.s. If you think your tweet should’ve been featured here, leave the link in the comments section and I’ll re-visit again.

01
The famous ‘Afghan Hospitality’ – this tweet explains it and just about all of us have been in this situation once or twice. If you happen to drop by an Afghan household during/just before a meal time, expect to be invited in for a meal.
02
Make no mistake, no Afghan wedding goes without the traditional ‘Attan’ dance. Far from twerking, this is a pretty gender-neutral dance where young/old and men/women can join in to celebrate a union of families in a wedding.
03
Roughly three months ago, I sent out a tweet complaining why is it so hard to get a hold of anyone in Afghanistan to ever get them to answer their phones? I got a reply from another Afghan tweep saying I should download Viber. She was right – I haven’t downloaded Viber yet and that’s probably the reason why I’m still not able to get a hold of anyone 99% of the time.
04
Whether you’re the boy or the girl, NO ONE gets away with skepticism of parents thinking you’re up to some hanky-panky if you’re gigging to anything on your phone. Where’s our freedom of privacy? F**k that! You’re #GrowingUpAfghan here!
05
Even in my 30’s, I still have to do the usual – totally unnecessary – walks around the fine china section of department stores with my mother whenever I take her out with me. It’s got to be an Afghan thing. When I tell my mother there’s no need to keep looking and touching when you’re not going to buy or need it, she keeps telling me, “sa-il kadaanesh kho moft ast!” – LOL!
06
When you’re growing up in an Afghan household, you better not dare touching anything that’s been prepared to perfection for the guests. Touch it, and you lose your limb – that’s pretty much the rule.
07
I’ve faced situations where I’ve had a full meal, gone to someone’s house and been forced, literally FORCED, to eat. In Afghan customs, it’s rude not to eat when you’ve been offered food by the host. For the sake of not seeming disrespectful, sometimes you just have to cop it and guzzle it down even if you have to go to the bathroom and throw it all up later on. Afghans don’t take ‘no’ for an answer when it comes to hospitality.
08
I hated eating the greens and pretty much everything healthy growing up. Couldn’t we just have some French fries instead of ‘sabzi’, ‘bamiyah’, and ‘faasiliyah’? Ugh, I still hate ‘faasiliyah’
09
Yup, been there too! But we’d all agree our mothers deserve every penny they took from us that we never saw again.
10
When my father used to wake me up, I’d flip in the air a few times. His knocks at the door were ROUGH! As an adult now, I’m seeing myself becoming more and more like him every day. I wake up between 4 AM -5 AM and I love it!
11
The Minority VS Majority Question: We’re an ethnically diverse country and proud of it.
12
Been there, too! The hardest years were my teen years.
13
We Afghans just can’t live without our ‘chai-sabz’ or green tea. Get a cut and you’re likely to have green tea seeping out. I have, at least, two cups of green tea daily and I live in Dubai. It’s hot and Afghans don’t care. We.Just.Want.Our.Chai!
14
This is what you’d call ‘Tough Love’ approach to #GrowingUpAfghan. From reading most of the tweets, Tough Love looks to be the specialty of Afghan mothers. I don’t blame them, they grew up in much harsher conditions than we can ever dream of. If they survived it, so can we, I suppose.
15
When you’ve been given a responsibility, MUST NOT FORGET OR ELSE….!!!
16
Fortunately, I killed this bad habit more than 10-years ago in university. I’m now always the first to show up in social gatherings and my Middle Eastern friends are the ones who keep me waiting for up to 2-hours…easily!
17
This is a common Arab/Persian thing. By now, I’m sure I’ve had WW300 with my friends.
18
I suffered fools all my life with this drink until I found out I’m lactose-intolerant. No more “dogh” for me, EVER AGAIN! But I still miss biting on the crunchy pieces of cucumber in it.
19
If I could have a dollar for every time some asks me where I’m from and they say with a surprising look on their face, “…but you don’t look Afghan?!”, I would be a millionaire! We’re a multi-ethnic country for over 200 years. It’s time we shed some light on that for the rest of the world.
20
If you haven’t got deep pockets in Eid, you’re going to be seen as a miser and your friends and their kids (and grandchildren) will remember it for the next 10-billion years.
21
LOL @ this one! How many times have you heard “patloon-e-cowboy”? I bet you have!
22
Again, Tough Love #GrowingUpAfghan. Child abuse? What child abuse?! This is disciplining our kids!
23
I have to feel for the Afghan girls on this one. The boys ALWAYS get away with the tedious household errands and chores like this one, in addition to washing the dishes and cooking. Talk about #GrowingUpAfghanGIRL
24
Vaseline – when you got fever/cold/flu/sore throat, just heat it up and rub it around your chest and back, it will cure everything – that’s what they said #GrowingUpAfghan.
25
Last but not least, this tweep speaks of his experience #GrowingUpAfghanTODAY – Kudos to his bravery! Many of us on Twitter have been fortunate enough not to go through this growing up.
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