Cultural Summary

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Culture is just one of the many influences on human behavior.  Americans entering Afghanistan will likely be more effective in their missions if they can avoid social blunders, and develop a sensitivity to proper behaviors and ways of doing things.  Many Afghans already know something about American customs, but many others do not. In either case, Americans should not assume that whatever they do will always be acceptable, or that their actions can always be explained away as the result of ignorance or cultural unawareness.

Additionally, knowing a few words in Dari or Pashto, such as the traditional greeting Assalamu alaikum (as-salamu-alay-koom to mean “Peace be with you”) or Tashakor (Tah-shah-koor) for "Thank you", would be appreciated.

Follow this link for a printable list of Do’s and Don’tsThis list is a summary of what you have learned as appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and etiquette throughout the lessons in this training.  The best way to avoid social blunders is to show respect for the dignity of the individual and another way of life. Sensitivity to proper behavior and gestures will help Americans understand why Afghans act as they do and will also assist in working side-by-side with the Afghan people.  Use this list as a reminder of proper behavior as well as what to avoid.


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