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Bacha Bazi





Kabul, Afghanistan










There are three kinds of bacha, first one is called “bacha do,” the second is “bacha ghush” the third one is “bacha baz.” The first one means, it’s about the person who loves to interact with handsome boys. For example, I know a man who is a member of parliament who has a bacha. And he just wants to have a handsome boy as his bodyguard. And the second one is bacha hosh, which means that he only wants to have sexual intercourse with boys. This Is about sex. And the last one is a combination of both. Also last one talks about, you can, if you are a bacha baz you can let your boy or bacha dance, to spend all the time with you. The bacha has to dance for warlords based on the warlords.


For example I participated in a few bacha bazi ceremonies. It happened a couple of years ago. For the first time when I participated in one of the ceremonies, I saw that there was as a, literally we call it handkerchief, but it was a kind of scarf. Yeah the scarf was being put on the floor which means it’s a sign of preparation for the boy indicating that the warlords ask the bacha to come and set the floor on fire. And then bacha starts dancing at the warlords. They have interesting different styles of dancing.


It’s interesting, three years ago I was interested in homosexuality, gayness, and LGBT generally, and I found a couple of homosexuals in Afghanistan, and one crossdresser. I found a crossdresser in Afghanistan. I talked to him. He was pretending that he is a homo. But when I explained him what do you mean by homo? How do you define your identity as a homo? After a while I found that he’s not homo. but he’s a crossdresser. But I found a couple who are living together in a small house. They were working, both of them. One of them was working for the British Embassy, one of them was working somewhere else. Both of them were well educated holding bachelors degree or masters degrees. And they defined themselves as gays. Em, and they had they were saying that they were having sexual relationship as well as emotional relationship. And I found the opportunity through women to interview, I couldn’t interview, just to talk to Afghan lesbian, who said that “I’m a lesbian having different partners.” She was in a beauty salon.


There is a big difference between homosexuality and bacha bazi. Bacha bazi means those three categories. There is an up and down process. There is an up and down approach which is not equal. But in homosexualilty it’s equal, it’s a parallel approach. But about bacha bazi, there is a big and deep background, different stories, even myths in different provinces of Afghanistna. That is indicating that Afghanistan has a big culture of bacha bazi from over one thousand years ago. But homosexuality is a new phenomenon. Culturally bacha bazi is accepted, but actually it’s forbidden.


I think there are different purposes that the culture is still deep in Afghan different communities. One reason is economic purposes. The family has to sell their boy to a former warlord, and the warlord pays a lot. The second story about the economic reason is that it’s not economic. It’s a matter of mandatory. It’s a mandatory action being enforced by warlords. For example, I am a warlord and you have a bacha, you have a boy, a son. And then I’m foricing you to submit, to give up your son to me as a bacha If you don’t do it I will kill you, your family, I will ruin your life. Then you will submit your son to me.




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© 2016 by Dance Afghanistan.

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