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11/01/2019

Art and Culture of Afghanistan (Part 2)

 Regardless of the current security and safety situation in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan people continue to pursue traditional practices between their various daily responsibilities. ‘’ATAN dance’’ is one tradition that is performed at times of celebration. Not only is this dance famous in this particular region, but is also well-known in the Pashtun region of Pakistan. This dance is typically performed at events such as weddings, engagement parties, college graduations, and other types of celebrations.

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 Caption: The JEN team tried it out.

 The dancers form a circle and dance along to the sound of drums, a rebab, a harmonium, and a small drum called tabara. The dance usually starts off slow, and the tempo increases as the dance progresses. Traditionally, those who perform the dance should grow their hair out. This is because the dance involves moving one`s head, and the movement of the hair indicates the tempo and rhythm of the dance. However, it is not a requirement for every dancer to grow their hair, as there is an alternative way to indicate the tempo and rhythm; clapping their hands with each step.

 Both men and women perform this dance, but due to the local social customs, women are not allowed to dance in the presence of a man. Therefore, women dance in an all-women group when no men are around. Because this dance is performed or practiced on a daily basis, most people know the basic rules of ‘’ATAN dance’’, but actually performing the dance requires a bit of practice. Students living in lodging accommodations live far away from their families, so they typically perform the dance to have fun and not get homesick.

 

November 1, 2019 in Afghanistan |