Hazaras: Muslim's None The Less

Hazara is part of the Muslim religion. Some legends state that Hazarans originated from Yafith, who is the son of the biblical figure Noah. Hazaras clothing choices differentiate from that in America, by far! Hazara men wear clothing such as: turbans, vests, overcoats, etc. all of which covers over a "perahan-u-tunban" and the colors remain dull. Women wear brighter colored clothing, which is a lot lighter in material. Hazaras typically only attend school up to the 6th grade, and if possible move to Kabul to continue they're education. Hazaras eat mostly meat and dairy products, saving a variety of foods for when guests visit, and for special occasions. They're social gatherings consists of music, dancing, and poetry reading. While men and women separate, having they're own styles of dancing for the event. (KW)
In the photo above, the Hazara people are gathered together to voice their rights. The Hazar's are in a never-ending battle with the other Afghani people over their rights, freedoms, and religions.

Hazaras are the last remaining Mongols in Asia who live in Afghanistan. You can tell Hazaras apart from Iranians and other Afghans by their high cheek bones and beards. Hazara comes from a Persian word used to describe military units. Most Hazaras moved into the mountainous region of Hazarajat during the attacks made by Chinggis Khan and his forces. The Hazarajat region did not see as much heavy fighting like the other regions of Afghanistan but rival Hazara groups had internal fighting during this period. In 1998 after a massive killing of 8000 civilians in Mazar-e Sharif, the Taliban openly declared the Hazaras would be targeted in their oppression. (DS)

Hazara children near a Hazara style home (mud walls) in Afghanistan.

Hazaras are mainly Shi'a Muslims. Most Afghans are not of the Twelver Shi'a denomination and this has probably contributed to the discrimination against the Hazaras. Some Hazaras are also Shi'as of the Ismaili denomination. Hazaras converted from Sunnism to Shi'aism during the first part of the 16th century. All Hazaras dwelling within the Hazarajat are "twelvers". Such Hazaras on the periphery of the Hazarajat have been converted to other Shi'a sects or to the Sunni Muslim religion are not regarded by the twelvers as being properly Hazaras. Hazaras living in rural areas speak Hazaragi, part of the Persian language. (DS)

style one of the book
style two of the book
In the novel, Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, the two main characters were Amir and Haasan. Haasan being a Hazara, and Amir being a Pashtun. You soon learn that there are obvious differences between the two boys, physically and idealisticly. Throughout the novel we learn a lot about the Hazara and Pashtun religions, a major difference being the Hazaras being nothing more than a servant to the Pashtuns. Most Hazaras didn't mind this lifestyle either, in fact, they we're very happy. You could soon see that the Hazaras were treated badly in Afghanista, especially when the Taliban moved in and tried to rid the country of them through a type of "ethnic cleansing". Pashtuns in this day wouldn't dare be caught saying that a Hazara was a family member, or even less a friend. And you knew this early on in the novel when Amir refused to call Haasan his friend. Hazaras are still fighting for their rights today. What makes them so different from the other Afghani people, besides what they decide to call their religion? Not a whole lot, and the novel does a good job showing us this throughout with minor details over physical appearance, social status, lifestyles, etc. (KW)

Sources Consulted:
History of Hazaras