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Afghan jokes on Cultural Differences

Afghan jokes on Cultural Differences

You wouldn't think war would bring out a people's sense of humour but in Afghanistan the cross-cultural interaction between locals and troops has resulted in some very funny stories.

When a country is involved in a war, humour is usually miles away. One would think this would also be the case for the war in Afghanistan; however, Eileen Guo has discovered that this war is actually a source of laughter for the Afghans.

People in the country have turned their encounters with NATO troops into full-blown anecdotes which are then shared at communal gatherings. Most of these stories are about cultural clashes and miscommunication and vary around the country. These tales are culturally very interesting as they reveal what Afghans say about foreigners when they are all by themselves.

Afghans laughing at a joke about culture

Guo gives the example of a US military trainer who visited an Afghan government official. As he had noticed new computers had been delivered, he tried to make polite conversation about them and asked ‘How’s the system?’ His interpreter, however, had difficulties with the Southern accent of the American and asked the government official, ‘How’s your sister?’ This caused quite some confusion and even resulting in the Afghan leaving the room as he wasn’t very pleased with the fact that his sister was ‘on the agenda.’

Want to read more about miscommunication between Afghans and NATO?

Click here to read the entire article.

Did you know we provide cultural awareness training on Afghan culture? We work with charities, businesses and NGOs on raising awareness of cultural and religious sensitivities. Click for more > Cultural Awareness Training

by Elise Kuip

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