Afghans
افغان
Map of the Afghan diaspora in the world (includes Afghans of any ethnicity, ancestry or citizenship).
  Afghanistan
  + 1,000,000
  + 100,000
  + 10,000
  + 1,000
Total population
53[1] million[citation needed] (est.)
Regions with significant populations
Diaspora:
9,085,784+[citation needed]
 Iranc. 5 million (2023)[2]
 Pakistan1,285,754 (2022)[3]
 Germany425,000 (2022)[4]
 United States300,000 (2022)[5]
 United Arab Emirates300,000 (2023)[6]
 Russia150,000 (2017)[7]
 Turkey129,323 (2021)[8]
 Canada125,305 (2022)[9][10]
 United Kingdom79,000 (2019)[11]
 Sweden67,738 (2023)[12]
 Australia59,797 (2021)[13]
 Netherlands51,830 (2021)[14]
 France41,174 (2021)[15]
 Greece21,456 (2021)[16]
 Ukraine20,000 (2001)[17]
 Denmark18,018 (2017)[18]
 India15,806 (2021)[19]
 Austria44,918 (2023)[20]
  Switzerland14,523 (2021)[16]
 Finland12,044 (2021)[21]
 Italy11,121-12,096 (2021)[22]
 Norway24,823 (2022)[23]
 Uzbekistan10,000 (2022)[24]
 Israel10,000 (2012)[25]
 Indonesia7,629 (2021)[citation needed]
 Tajikistan6,775 (2021)[26]
 Qatar4,000 (2012)[27]
 Japan3,509 (2020)[28]
 New Zealand3,414 (2013)[29]
 Malaysia2,661 (2021)[30]
 Kazakhstan2,500+ (2021)[31][32]
 Romania2,384 (2020)[33]
 Brazil3,000 - 4,000 (2022)[34]
 Kyrgyzstan2,000 (2002)[35]
 Ireland1,200 (2019)[36]
 Bhutan300–2,500 (2018)[37]
 Portugal883[38][39]
Languages
Persian (Dari and Iranian Persian), Pashto, and other languages of Afghanistan
Religion
Predominantly: Islam
(Sunni majority and Shia minority)
Minority: Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Baháʼí Faith
Related ethnic groups
Tajiks, Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Hazara

Afghans (Persian/Dari: افغان‌ها, romanized: Afghānha; Pashto: افغانان, romanized: Afghanan) or Afghan people are nationals or citizens of Afghanistan, or people with ancestry from there.[40][41][42] Afghanistan is made up of various ethnicities, of which Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks are the largest. The three main languages spoken by Afghans are Dari Persian, Pashto, and Uzbek, and many Afghans are bilingual, speaking both Dari Persian and Pashto.[43][44]

Background

Main article: Afghan (ethnonym)

The earliest mention of the name Afghan (Abgân) is by Shapur I of the Sassanid Empire during the 3rd century CE,[45][46][47] In the 4th century the word "Afghans/Afghana" (αβγανανο) as reference to the Pashtun people is mentioned in the Bactrian documents found in Northern Afghanistan.[48][49] The word 'Afghan' is of Persian origin to refer to the Pashtun people.[50] Some scholars suggest that the word "Afghan" is derived from the words awajan/apajan in Avestan and ava-Han/apa-Han in Sanskrit, which means "killing, striking, throwing and resisting, or defending." Under the Sasanians, and possibly the Parthian Empire, the word was used to refer to men of a certain Persian sect.[51] In the past, several scholars sought a connection with "horse", Skt.aśva-, Av.aspa-, i.e.the Aśvaka or Aśvakayana the name of the Aśvakan or Assakan, ancient inhabitants of the Hindu Kush region. Some have theorized that name of the Aśvakan or Assakan has been preserved in that of the modern Pashtun, with the name Afghan being derived from Asvakan.[52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59]

As an adjective, the word Afghan also means "of or relating to Afghanistan or its people, language or culture". According to the 1964 Constitution of Afghanistan, all Afghans citizens are equal in rights and obligations before the law.[60] The fourth article of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan which was valid until 2021 states that citizens of Afghanistan consist of Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek, Turkmen, Baloch, Pashayi, Nuristani, Aimaq, Arab, Kyrgyz, Qizilbash, Gurjar, Brahui, and members of other ethnicities.[61] There are political disputes regarding this: there are members of the non-Pashtun ethnicities of Afghanistan that reject the term Afghan being applied to them, and there are Pashtuns in Pakistan that wish to have the term Afghan applied to them.[62][63][64][65][66]

The pre-nation state, historical ethnonym Afghan was used to refer to a member of the Pashtun ethnic group. Due to the changing political nature of the state the meaning has changed, and term has shifted to be the national identity of people from Afghanistan from all ethnicities.[67][68][69]

From a more limited, ethnological point of view, "Afḡhān" is the term by which the Persian-speakers of Afghanistan (and the non-Pashtō-speaking ethnic groups generally) designate the Pashtūn. The equation Afghans = Pashtūn has been propagated all the more, both in and beyond Afghanistan, because the Pashtūn tribal confederation has maintained its hegemony in the country, numerically and politically.[70]

Afghanistani, Afghani and Afghanese

The less common Afghanistani (افغانستانی) is an alternative identity marker for citizens of Afghanistan. The term "Afghanistani" refers to someone who possesses the nationality of Afghanistan,[71] regardless of what race, ethnic, religious background.[72][73] In multiethnic Afghanistan, the term "Afghan" has always been associated with Pashtun people. Some non-Pashtun citizens such as Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks have viewed it as a part of Pashtun hegemony that devised to erase their ethnic identity.[74][75] The term Afghanistani has been used among some refugees and diasporas, particularly among non-Pashtuns.[76][77][78]

The term Afghani refers to the unit of Afghan currency. The term is also often used in the English language (and appears in some dictionaries) for a person or thing related to Afghanistan, although some have expressed the opinion that this usage is incorrect.[79] A reason for this usage can be because the term "Afghani" (افغانی) is in fact a valid demonym for Afghans in the overall Persian language, whereas "Afghan" is derived from Pashto. Thus "Afghan" is the anglicized term of "Afghani" when translating from Dari Persian, but not Pashto.[80] Another variant is Afghanese, which has been seldom used in place of Afghan.[81][82][83]

Ethnicity

Ethnolinguistic groups in Afghanistan and its surroundings (1982).

Main article: Ethnic groups in Afghanistan

Afghans come from various ethnic backgrounds. The largest ethnic groups are Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras, who make up approximately 95% of the population of Afghanistan. They are of diverse origins including of Iranic, Turkic or Mongolic ethnolinguistic roots.[84]

Religion

Main article: Religion in Afghanistan

The Masjid-e-Kabud, popularly known as the Blue Mosque, in Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh Province, Afghanistan, April 3, 2012.

The Afghan people of all ethnicities are predominantly and traditionally followers of Islam, of whom around 90% are of the Sunni branch, and 10% Shia. Other religious minorities include the Afghan Hindus, Afghan Sikhs, Afghan Zoroastrians, Afghan Jews and Afghan Christians.[85]

Culture

Main article: Culture of Afghanistan

Afghan culture has existed for over three millennia, dating back to the time of the Achaemenid Empire in 500 BCE. Afghans have both common cultural features and those that differ between regions with each of the 34 provinces having its own unique distinctive cultures partly as a result of geographic obstacles that divide the country. Afghanistan's culture is historically linked to nearby Persia, including both countries following the Islamic religion, the Solar Hijri calendar and speaking similar languages, this is due to Iran and Afghanistan being culturally close to each other for thousands of years.

See also


References

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  2. ^ "Iran's Interior Minister - The presence of more than 5 million Afghan immigrants in Iran". www.isna.ir. 13 July 2023. Retrieved 17 September 2023.
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  18. ^ "Denmark". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Afghanistan). 1 January 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2021. The number of Afghan immigrants living in Denmark per January 1st 2017 is 13240. There are also 4778 persons who are descendants of Afghan immigrants.
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    Afghanistan [...] Totale: 11121
    [Italy - Center-Southern Asia
    Afghanistan [...] Total: 11,121]
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  34. ^ "No Brasil, classe média afegã acaba em aeroporto e abrigos para fugir do Talibã". CNN Brasil. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  35. ^ IFRC document
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  37. ^ "Los afganos latinoamericanos". www.trt.net.tr. TRT Español.
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  44. ^ "Article Sixteen of the 2004 Constitution of Afghanistan". 2004. Archived from the original on 28 October 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2012. Dari and Pashto are the official languages of the state. Uzbek, Turkmen, Baluchi, Pashai, Nuristani, and Pamiri are—in addition to Pashto—the second official language in areas where the majority speaks them.
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  48. ^ Balogh, Dániel (12 March 2020). Hunnic Peoples in Central and South Asia: Sources for their Origin and History. Barkhuis. p. 144. ISBN 978-94-93194-01-4. [ To Ormuzd Bunukan, ... greetings and homage from ... ), Pithe ( sot ] ang ( ? ) of Parpaz ( under ) [ the glorious ) yabghu of [ Heph ] thal, the chief ... of the Afghans
  49. ^ Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2000). Bactrian documents from northern Afghanistan. Oxford: The Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth Editions and Oxford University Press. ISBN 1-874780-92-7.
  50. ^ "Definition of AFGHAN". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  51. ^ Fikrat & Umar 2008.
  52. ^ "The name Afghan has evidently been derived from Asvakan, the Assakenoi of Arrian... " (Megasthenes and Arrian, p 180. See also: Alexander's Invasion of India, p 38; J.W. McCrindle).
  53. ^ Indische Alterthumskunde, Vol I, fn 6; also Vol II, p 129, et al.
  54. ^ Etude Sur la Geog Grecque & c, pp 39-47, M. V. de Saint Martin.
  55. ^ The Earth and Its Inhabitants, 1891, p 83, Élisée Reclus - Geography.
  56. ^ "Even the name Afghan is Aryan being derived from Asvakayana, an important clan of the Asvakas or horsemen who must have derived this title from their handling of celebrated breeds of horses" (See: Imprints of Indian Thought and Culture abroad, p 124, Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan).
  57. ^ cf: "Their name (Afghan) means "cavalier" being derived from the Sanskrit, Asva, or Asvaka, a horse, and shows that their country must have been noted in ancient times, as it is at the present day, for its superior breed of horses. Asvaka was an important tribe settled north to Kabul river, which offered a gallant resistance but ineffectual resistance to the arms of Alexander "(Ref: Scottish Geographical Magazine, 1999, p 275, Royal Scottish Geographical Society).
  58. ^ "Afghans are Assakani of the Greeks; this word being the Sanskrit Ashvaka meaning 'horsemen' " (Ref: Sva, 1915, p 113, Christopher Molesworth Birdwood).
  59. ^ Cf: "The name represents Sanskrit Asvaka in the sense of a cavalier, and this reappears scarcely modified in the Assakani or Assakeni of the historians of the expedition of Alexander" (Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological..by Henry Yule, AD Burnell).
  60. ^ "Article 1 of the 1964 Constitution of Afghanistan". Government of Afghanistan. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  61. ^ "Constitution of Afghanistan". 2004. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2013. National sovereignty in Afghanistan shall belong to the nation, manifested directly and through its elected representatives. The nation of Afghanistan is composed of all individuals who possess the citizenship of Afghanistan. The nation of Afghanistan shall be comprised of Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Baluch, Pachaie, Nuristani, Aymaq, Arab, Qirghiz, Qizilbash, Gujur, Brahwui and other tribes. The word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan. No individual of the nation of Afghanistan shall be deprived of citizenship. The citizenship and asylum related matters shall be regulated by law.
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  66. ^ "Miranshah PTM Jalsa Lar Ao bar Nary لر او بر یو افغان". 15 November 2020 – via www.youtube.com.
  67. ^ "Ask Johnson: Afghans, Afghanis, Afghanistanis". The Economist. 21 September 2011.
  68. ^ Kieffer, Ch. M. "Afghan". Encyclopædia Iranica. Archived from the original on 16 November 2013. From a more limited, ethnological point of view, "Afḡān" is the term by which the Persian-speakers of Afghanistan (and the non-Paṧtō-speaking ethnic groups generally) designate the Paṧtūn. The equation Afghans = Paṧtūn has been propagated all the more, both in and beyond Afghanistan, because the Paṧtūn tribal confederation is by far the most important in the country, numerically and politically.
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  70. ^ Foundation, Encyclopaedia Iranica. "Welcome to Encyclopaedia Iranica". iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  71. ^ "Afghanistani Definitions | What does afghanistani mean? | Best 2 Definitions of Afghanistani". www.yourdictionary.com. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  72. ^ Bulut, Meryem; Şahin, Kadriye (2 October 2019). Anthropological Perspectives on Transnational Encounters in Turkey: War, Migration and Experiences of Coexistence. Transnational Press London. ISBN 978-1-912997-26-8.
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  74. ^ Rubin, Barnett R. (9 May 2013). Afghanistan in the Post-Cold War Era. OUP USA. ISBN 978-0-19-979112-5.
  75. ^ Boon, Kristen; Lovelace, Douglas; Huq, Aziz Z. (2011). Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Conflict in Afghanistan. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-975825-8.
  76. ^ Bezhan, Faridullah (2006). Afghanistani Storytelling and Writing: History, Performance and Forms [this book with title Afghanistani was published in 2006]. Monash Asia Institute. ISBN 978-1-876924-44-7.
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  79. ^ "Chatterbox: More on 'Afghani'". Slate. 4 October 2001. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
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Sources