Providing Advocacy, Education and Information for former Refugees.

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Pashto, Farsi and Dari

Predominantly: Islam


28.3 million

War has displaced Afghans from their homes and from their country for over three decades. During the Soviet occupation half the population were displaced internally, forced to flee to neighbouring countries, wounded or killed. One-third of population was estimated to have fled their country.

The Afghans first arrived in New Zealand in 1998, but in recent years; the number of Afghans has significantly risen.

The Islamic greeting of “As –Salamu Alaykum” meaning “may peace be with you,” and the reply, “waalaikum as-salaam,” meaning “and peace to you also” are common throughout Afghanistan

In Dari: “Chutoor haste” means “How are you?”

In Pashto: “Tsenga yee?” means “How are you?”

When meeting someone the handshake is the most common form on greeting. The Handshake is used when arriving and leaving. It may also be used to greet Afghan males, although it is common to bow (to new acquaintances) or embrace (among friends). Some Afghans may place their right hand over their heart after shaking hands. This gesture is a sign of respect and simply means that the handshake is from the heart.

One should always ask about things like a person's health, business, family, etc.

Women and men never shake hands let alone speak directly to one another.

Eye contact should also be avoided between men and women. But between men eye contact is acceptable as long as it is not prolonged - it is best to only occasionally look someone in the eyes.

A Western woman may extend a hand to an Afghan woman when greeting; however, it is preferable to wait for an Afghan male to offer his hand first.

Using both hands to shake hands is a show of warmth and sincerity. 

Shaking hands with gloves on is disrespectful and insulting to Afghans.

If you go to someone's house, always remove your shoes at the door and expect to sit on the floor.

At school, mixed boys and girls in swimming and activities involving physical contact such as dancing are unacceptable.

Don’t pass something with left hand, it is and disrespectful because the left hand is considered unclean.

Pointing the bottom of your feet at anyone is disrespectful. Feet are considered the lowest and most unclean part of the body in many Muslim, pointing your soles at someone

Contact Roctrust for more missing information.

Contact Roctrust for more missing information.

The head male of a family is responsible for protecting the honour of the family. Afghans live in the extend family.

Free mixing between genders only takes places within families.

In professional situations such as at businesses or universities, males and females may be co-workers, but are however cautious to maintain each other's honor.

It is inappropriate for a foreigner man to initiate social conversation with a married woman, and one should not ask a male about his wife or female relatives.

Contact the Roctrust for more missing information


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