Afghans Nail #GrowingUpAfghan on Twitter

Mother's Day in Afghanistan 2010. Wiki image.

Mother's Day in Afghanistan 2010. Photo by the U.S. Agency for International Development. CC 2.0 Generic.

For Afghans at home and abroad, national traditions — from tea with cardamom to habitual tardiness — are thoroughly ingrained elements of identity.

On Twitter in recent weeks, they have been sharing thoughts on family, pilau, oversized weddings and other things using the #GrowingUpAfghan hashtag.

The result is a catalogue of nostalgia, humour and an abundance of affection for their homeland.

Parents never stop!

Afghan children usually live with their parents up until marriage, and their elders’ authority over the household is never in doubt. Afghan parents have the highest expectations of their children and never miss a chance to remind them that someone somewhere else is doing better. This is a way to encourage their children to work harder:

They really never stop!

#GrowingUpAfghan defined in a single term: “What would people say?”

Indeed, Afghans are the most persistent up-bringers in the world. I still remember when my own mother would force me to talk to relatives on the phone,  reminding me to ask them about their children and everyone else in their home. She wasn't the only one!

If Afghans visit their relatives and/or have lunch or dinner there, their mothers make sure all the dishes at the relatives’ house are left spotlessly clean. It shows that Afghan parents have raised their children correctly:

Lie-ins are for the weak, whether it's a week day or not:

#GrowingUpAfghan your dad wakes you up at 6 am for no reason on a weekend because you can't be lazy in life.

Punishments are always collective:

And storage space is always used creatively:

Photo from afghan Licensed to reuse.

Photo from afghan Licensed to reuse.

Tea is at the core of Afghan daily life, with few drinking less than a teapot in a given day.

Food and guests are the best part of an Afghan childhood. Especially the food:

Highlights of the Afghan culinary repertoire include Bolani (a flat-bread filled with vegetables baked or fried), pilau (rice cooked with meat, raisins, carrots, pistachios and almonds) and mantu (dumplings filled with meat):

But if you have to choose between food and guest, always choose the guest, because parents never stop:

Even if that guest is your least generous relative:

Journalist Frud Bezhan recalls huge weddings, with thousands of guests. These were not just a way for relatives to meet up, but a means for parents to find wives for their sons:

And every guest must be greeted without exception:

Despite other great qualities, or perhaps because of them, Afghans are never on time. If they say that they are 5-10 minutes away, that means they are either still trying to find an outfit to wear, or that they have just got out of the house, which means they will be between half an hour to an hour late.

Last but not least, Afghans take a “no pain no gain” approach to fashion.

The hashtag is still trending and Afghans are still sharing their memories.


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