Attan

WHERE ATTAN IS PRACTICED

STORYTELLER PROFILE

WHERE THIS STORY

WAS SUBMITTED FROM:

Innsbrück, Austria

STORYTELLER'S AGE:

25

STORYTELLER'S

GENDER:

Male

STORYTELLER'S

ETHNICITY:

Pashtun

ATTAN DESCRIPTION

Here outside Afghanistan at weddings, I haven't noticed great differences between Attans. But in Afghanistan it is different because they have many different kinds of Attan. Every tribe has a different variety. If the Attan is mixed with both men and women, only men and women related to each other would dance with each other. I don't really dance, but I like to watch. If you do not dance, you are more the listener than the speaker. When I watch Attan, I understand something of the pride that comes from dancing it. When just dancing around, so just moving but not really any kind of dance in particular, I don't get an understanding of anything serious, less meaning I guess. Dance in my life is something that is part of celebrations and for fun, but not every day. The nice thing is, no matter where you come from or what language you speak, the language of dance everyone understands.

 

When I was sixteen years old , there were many news about Afghanistan and I was the only Afghan in my school at that time. I have always been interested in history, so this came as a time, I have a blog started at age 19 with various ideas and themes that had to do with Afghanistan. My father is from Kandahar came to Austria to study. Then he is gone back to Afghanistan where he met a woman from Baghlan, but who was working in Peshawar. They met in Peshawar, and now they are married (my father and my mother). They then moved to Insburg in Austria. In Insburg now there's a larger Afghan community, but Afghans don't have much to do with each other there. Many refugees seek to travel to Germany, but have to come through Austria and then must remain there because of the law. 

 

Something interesting about growing up in Austria, is that I did not have very many Afghan cultural things in my awareness as a youth. Honestly, people abroad are quite "prejudiced " against Afghans. They always think of Osama bin Laden. I would think it therefore does not come that much news about Afghan people, but more about "events," military killed, how many dead, and so on, because people are interested. There are there more Austrians here than Afghans of course, so if you have a beard and black hair, one is always suspected. 

 

Also, respect is just a very important part in rearing Afghan children, but if it is too strict abroad, then kids simply rebel, like with any family really. My parents have always said that drinking and smoking are not good, but they have never banned it. So I had a choice to make better decisions. Many Afghans act as if they are conservative. For example, I have friends who cannot tell their parents that they go to the disco, and then have to lie. They say then that they go to friends or whatever.

ATTAN PHOTOS

Attan
Attan

The Institute for the Preservation of Arts and Culture in Landi Kotal dance troupe performs Attan at at Kuch Khaas in November, 2011. Photo by The Express Tribune.

Attan
Attan

Afghan national soccer team celebrating a victory with the Attan. Photo by Edmund Chow

Attan
Attan

Attan in Kandahar. Photo by Reuters.

Attan
Attan

The Institute for the Preservation of Arts and Culture in Landi Kotal dance troupe performs Attan at at Kuch Khaas in November, 2011. Photo by The Express Tribune.

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