Afghanistan Affirms Timeless Wisdom: “No War Without Tea” – A Symbol of Hospitality

By: Humayoon Babur

278

May 26, 2024

Legend has it that on the morning the Russians captured Bukhara, the city’s crier was still on his horse, announcing through the streets. Upon hearing this, some elders exclaimed, “We haven’t even had our tea yet! There can be no war without tea.” As they paused for tea, Russian soldiers halted at their doorstep, confiscating their food.
May 21st marks International Tea Day, celebrating one of the world’s most beloved beverages. However, for many—Afghans, tea has become a staple part of their —daily meals due to its affordability.
In Afghanistan, some impoverished families rely heavily on tea and dry bread to sustain themselves amid economic hardships. Ahmad Shah, 36, a resident of Kabul, shared his struggles, stating, “I’m currently unemployed and spend most of my time at home. My main sustenance is bread and tea. Having these simple comforts brings me happiness amidst my struggles. The situation is tough, with financial difficulties and challenges abound.”
Social affairs expert Wazma Fitrat highlights the widespread economic challenges facing Afghan families, “where many cannot afford more nutritious meals.” Additionally, some Afghans have developed a habit of consuming numerous cups of tea daily.
At the same time, many believe drinking tea, especially at dawn time, can help prevent cancer. Rezwan Ullah, 24, in Kunar province, shared how his grandfather, who recently passed away due to cancer, used to drink tea every morning without adding anything.
Despite its prevalence, the import of green and black tea into Afghanistan continues to rise. However, the exact impact of this importation remains unclear.
Tea holds a prominent status among Afghans, serving not only as a favored beverage for alleviating fatigue but also as a symbol of—hospitality and a means of coping with economic challenges.
“The economic condition of Afghan citizens is dire. Many households lack the financial means to afford varied food items, resorting to tea as a staple. Some cannot even afford tea or cold water, relying on dry food due to unemployment.” Said Rezwan Ullah.
As we observe International Tea Day, the United Nations recognizes tea’s significance globally, particularly in supporting livelihoods in both developed and underdeveloped nations. Tea has a rich history dating back thousands of years, with its origins believed to trace back to regions in India, Myanmar, and China.
Tea is not only a beverage but also a symbol of hospitality, fatigue relief, and poverty alleviation in Afghan culture. Its consumption has become deeply embedded in daily life, from welcoming guests to alleviating boredom.
The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment reports a significant increase in the import of green and black tea into Afghanistan. However, while the import numbers are high, the impact on local economies and consumption patterns remains unclear.
According to official records from the Chamber of Commerce of Afghanistan it brought in 74,000 tons of green and black tea from various countries last year. “Our imports include tea sourced from Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Bangladesh, India, and China. In Afghanistan, black tea is more commonly consumed, although green tea is also popular.”
On International Tea Day, people around the world are encouraged to reflect on the cultural and economic significance of tea. As cups are raised in celebration, it’s important to remember the millions of families worldwide whose livelihoods rely on this —humble beverage.

د دعوت رسنیز مرکز ملاتړ وکړئ
له موږ سره د مرستې همدا وخت دی. هره مرسته، که لږه وي یا ډیره، زموږ رسنیز کارونه او هڅې پیاوړی کوي، زموږ راتلونکی ساتي او زموږ د لا ښه خدمت زمینه برابروي. د دعوت رسنیز مرکز سره د لږ تر لږه $/10 ډالر یا په ډیرې مرستې کولو ملاتړ وکړئ. دا ستاسو یوازې یوه دقیقه وخت نیسي. او هم کولی شئ هره میاشت له موږ سره منظمه مرسته وکړئ. مننه

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