Behavior and Etiquette – Social Engagements and Visiting: Tea and Cigarettes

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The usual beverage is tea, which constitutes one of Afghanistan’s major imports. In general, black tea is used southeast of the Hindu Kush Mountains, while green tea is preferred in the northwestern part of the country. Tea is known as chai [chie] and is normally sweetened with sugar or honey. If invited for tea, the guest will be offered snacks and their tea glass will be kept full.  When a guest has had enough, it is polite to cover the glass with a hand and say “bus,” which means ‘enough’.  Remember, hospitality extended should always be graciously accepted.

The majority of Afghan adults smoke. Both men and women consider smoking a part of adult behavior, although women are rarely seen smoking in public. If one wishes to smoke in the presence of Afghans, it is important to be prepared to offer a cigarette to everyone in the group. It is considered impolite not to offer. It is also considered inappropriate to ask an Afghan not to smoke. As Muslims, most Afghans do not drink alcohol; however some do in urban areas.

 

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