Pashtuns: The Upper Class of Afghanistan

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Some famous Pashtuns: Top Row (left to right) Sher Shah Suri, Ahmad Shand Durrani, Mohammed Nadir Shah
Bottom Row (left to right) Bahadur Yar Jung, Salmay Khalilzad, Hamid Karzai.

The Pashtun people live in a vast area that stretches from northeast Iran and continues onto central Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pashtun people are also located in India as a result of Muslim conquest in the region. Pashtuns cover for about 40% of Afghanistan's population, and 15% of Pakistan's populations, who are mostly refugees that fled there during Soviet and Taliban control of Afghanistan. The Language that Pashtuns speak is called Pashto. Pashto was developed from ancient Iranian languages with traces of Greek, Arabic, and Turkish. Language is one of many factors to determine if an indiviual is considered a Pashtun or not. They also speak fluently in Afghan-Persian and English. Pashtusn are related to eastern Iranians and Burusho, a small group of people in Northern Pakistan. There are also little traces of Greek. Despite some Pashtuns having a darker complection, scholars believe that they are descendents of Aryans. The reason being is because Pashtuns usually have lighter features than other tribes around them. Some of these features include hair, eyes, and skin. These characteristics are especially common in isolated Pashtun villages in the mountains. Pashtuns follow the Islam religion are automatically considered to be Muslim at birfth. They celebrate two major holidays of the Islamic lunar calendar year: Eid Al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. They also observe the tenth of Muarram. Muarram is when the celebrate the martyrdom of the prophet Muhammad's grandson.

Seventy groups in total make up Afghanistan 26.7 million people. Out of all those groups, the following are the most prominent.

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Pashtun Culture Seen in Kite Runner
In Kite Runner ethnicity plays a huge portion in this novel. The differences between the Hazaras, Pashtuns, and other ethnic groups shows not only the visual aspects of the character, but what they are suppose to act like, how wealthy they are in Afghanistan, and an all around focus on the character. The Pashtuns are considered the wealthier, more politically involved, and more socially excepted people. Baba, Amir, Rahim Kahn, and Soraya and her family are all considered Pashtun. Not only did showing does showing the characters ethnic class show a lot about the character, but there is symbolism behind their ethnicity. Although Baba, Amir's father, was a head hauncho in Kabul, he really had deep secrets that he wanted to hide among his commrads. His secret was that he had an iligitimate child from a Hazaran woman, and lied about it his whole life. Amir, a Pashtun as well, also had a secret of not standing up for his Hassan and framing him. Another Pashtun, Soraya, had a bad past of running away with a man she loved and going against her social customs in the Pashtun culture. When Khaled Hosseini shows what is suppose to be the "higher class" making all these mistakes and ultimately going against what they preach, he is not just showing hypocrisy, but that the less ignorance you have and power, the more sly you can become with many things, and the more knowledge you have, the more you can get away with in life.'s-race,-ethnicity,-tribes