Afghanistan is a South Asian country located just east of Iran. It is a completely landlocked country whose fertile lands make it ideal for farming. As a result, agriculture is Afghanistan’s largest industry. Farming accounts for almost 40 percent of the nation’s GDP, with citizens growing wheat, corn and barley. Afghanistan also possesses mass amounts of gas, oil and various minerals.
The main languages spoken in Afghanistan are Pashtun and Dari, but each region has a different tribal language that is recognized by local governments. Including the country’s regional tongues, there are over 40 languages spoken in Afghanistan.
The term ‘Afghanistan’ loosely means ‘land of Afghans’. The Afghans, also known as Pashtuns, are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. The Pashtuns have resided in the country for over 300 years.
Many believe that the world’s first oil paintings were created during the European Renaissance, but in reality, the first oil paintings were made in Afghanistan in 650 BC, centuries before the Renaissance.
In Afghanistan, a meal is incomplete without ‘naan,’ which is a flat, unleavened bread.
Buzkashi, meaning “goat grabbing”, is the national sport of Afghanistan. In this game, riders mount horses and compete with one another to place the body of a goat in a designated circle or goal.
The Sistan Basin in Afghanistan is consistently in the running for driest region in the world, going through years of prolonged drought at a time.
There is only one pig in all of Afghanistan, as eating pork is prohibited by Islam. This pig, named Khanzir, lives in the Kabul Zoo and was a gift to Afghanistan from China.
Though the country is generally perceived as an arid desert land, there are mountainous regions in Afghanistan that experience steady snowfall throughout the winter.
Poetry is extremely important in Afghan culture, embedded in Afghanistan’s history from the court of the first Persian king who demanded that Arabic poetry be translated into Farsi. Afghan children study poetry throughout their entire academic lives.