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Changes in Afghan wedding traditions over past 3 decades

Changes in Afghan wedding traditions over past 3 decades

author avatar
25 Apr 2024 - 13:40
Changes in Afghan wedding traditions over past 3 decades
author avatar
25 Apr 2024 - 13:40

KABUL (Pajhwok): The residents of different provinces have shared their views regarding the changing wedding ceremony customs and said in the past wedding was financially affordable and organized simply but currently more customs have been introduced and the cost has increased.

The wedding ceremony is held in every country based on its own culture, Afghanistan like other countries has its own culture and traditions for wedding ceremony and these traditions could vary from province to province.

Wedding ceremonies were simple and brief in the past: Kabulyan

Shahnaz, 80, from Kabul City, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “Wedding means creation of a family when man and woman enter a married life, in the past wedding ceremonies in Kabul were simple, people were not interested in glamour and showcasing but currently new things had emerged which are back-breaking for the groom.”

She said: “Thirty years back in Kabul after the first verbal agreement on a marriage the father of the bride organised the engagement even, through there was no Toyan money and the wedding ceremony was organised according to the financial strength of the groom, not more than 300 gust were invited in the reception and at the end the Takt-i-Jami event was held.”

She said: “Now the groom has to organize and pay for the engagement, other events such as the Hina night, reception, and Takht-i-Jami is even held in the hotel, at least 500 people are invited in the wedding ceremony, there are demands such as Jaheiz, golden necklace and bracelets, expensive dresses and other costly demands are made which break the back of groom, in the past we never heard that groom had borrowed money but now everyone say that groom had borrowed money for the wedding.”

Some Nimroz youths remain unmarried for 9-year of engagement

Fatima, a resident of Zaranj City, said: “Marriages in the past were simple and brief, but now it makes youth less fortunate, a youth remains engaged for six to nine years because he could not arrange the expenses of his marriage.”

There is a huge difference between marriages taking place now compared to the past. For instance, 30 years ago Toyana was 30,000 afs but now it reached 600,000 afs.

In the past, the wedding ceremony was not very spectacular, it was held at home, it was so simple that they did not cover the car with flowers for the bride, the stage and the place of the bride was not decorated, but now it is decorated in a very special way and the ceremony is held in a hotel.

Wedding ceremonies have become competitive now: Laghman resident

Mohammad Arif, a resident of Laghman province, said: “The foods offered for guests in the wedding ceremonies were less costly in the past but now different varieties of food are served for the guests.”

He said in the past the Toyana amount was paid in afghani but now it is demanded in dollars, most families did not give their daughters Jahaiz while in the past the Toyana amount was spent on Jahaiz and the bride brought it with herself.

No major change in Nuristan wedding ceremonies

Hanifa Nuristani, resident of Nuristan province, said no major changes occurred to the wedding ceremonies which are held in Nuristan province.

She said: “In the past there was no culture of Toyana amount, the groom family was asked to give 10 to 20 livestock after there was an agreement about the engagement of a boy and a girl, but now people ask for cash and the culture of livestock was no more practiced.”

She said from the past until now, in addition to the fact that all the necessary items for the wedding room were bought by the bride’s father, 20 bags of corn and fresh cheese and a fat cow were also sent to the groom’s house with the bride as a gift.

Hanifa Nuristani said: “In each wedding ceremony two or three cows are slaughtered, meat is separated from the soup and then flour is added in the soup for thickness, later cooking oil is added to the soup and distributed among guests in plates.”

She said individuals who could not participate in the wedding ceremony were provided with uncooked meet by the groom’s family.


Syed Habibullah Akbari, who had been married from the past two years, regarding wedding culture and traditions in the past and in the present said: “The people of our province are mostly Shiites, they have their own customs and traditions. In the past, Towayan was not cash, but cattle and sheep, and the dowry was old boxes, felt carpets, something called Palas.”

He said: “The bride was brought to the groom’s house on a horse or old jeep, women made circle around the bride, they did not put on much make-up and did not go to the hair salon, food served in the reception were sheep or goat meat and soup.”

Cash Toyana is trend in Kuanr now

Iftikhar Mashwani, a resident of Kunar province, said: “The culture and tradition of wedding ceremonies had shaped a lot in Kunar, in the past there was not culture of Toyana, 25 sheep or four cows were demanded to tie the knot of man and woman.”

“The bride remained at father’s house until the groom did not provide with the livestock, even if they give birth to a child the bride remain at her father’s house,” he said.

He said in the past, when the bride was taken to her husband’s house, there was no decorated car, two sticks were laid on the carpet and the men lifted it over their shoulders to transport the bride, but now they transport the bride in a luxurious decorated car.

Mashwani added in the past animals were slaughtered in the wedding ceremony the meat was cooked and separated from its soup, flour were added in the soup and it was called Joash and served to the guests, but now different dishes are presented to the guests at wedding ceremonies.

Arduous amount of Toyana is tradition in Paktia province

Ajma, a resident of Paktia province said that Toyan had surged from three lacks to 12 lacks in the past 30 years.

In the past, only rice and meat were prepared for the guests, the number of guests reached 300 people, but now all kinds of food, fruit and even soft drinks are prepared, and more than 1,000 people are invited in each gathering, and for the bride, in the past five suits were bought but now but now 40 different types of clothes are bought.

Some changes happened in Herat wedding ceremonies

Gul Ahmad Omaid, a resident of Herat province, said the customs and traditions are different in the cities and districts of this province, so that in the cities the Toyana amount is low, but in the districts it is more, generally there had not been many changes in the wedding ceremony in the province.

He said before engagement relatives from both parties discuss matters related to Toyana, reception, engagement, Edi, Nawruzi, Zemistani, Tabistani, Bahari, Khazani and other customs.

He said the Toyana amount in the provincial capital ranged from around 100,000 afs to 300,000 afs, it is low because the groom family themselves prepare the Jahaiz but in the districts the Toyana amount ranged from 600,000 afs to 1,200,000 afs

No major change in Badakhshan wedding ceremonies

Rafiullah, a resident of Shuhada district, said there was no major change in the customs and traditions of wedding ceremonies in Badakhshan now compared to the past.

He said both parties reach agreement on Toyana which should not be less than 200,000 afs because the bride father purchase all important items needed for a house and send with the bride under the name of Jahaiz to the groom’s house.

He said from the past till now the list of food for the reception is 20 bags of rice, 12 bags of flour, 140 kilograms of meat, 1.4 tonns of firewood, 70 kilograms of potatoes, 70 kilograms of onion, two cartons of tomato paste, one carton of black and green tea each, this is a list handed over to the groom family by the bride family.


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