Souvenirs from Afghanistan
The bazaars of Afghanistan offer a characteristic experience for visitors, and provide many memories and Afghani souvenirs. Lapis lazuli is a rich blue stone found only in Afghanistan and Latin America. It is used as a decoration for knives and ethnic jewelry, or you purchase nuggets of it to use as paper weights. A hand woven rug is another possibility, as well antique vases, weapons and ceramics. Make sure to buy from a reputable dealer, though, as reproductions abound in the market places. Lambskin vests, hats and boots would be practical souvenirs from Afghanistan. Postcards, key chains, T-shirts and refrigerator magnets are fun memorabilia to share with others, while you may wish to keep the silver tribal necklaces and handspun silks for yourself. Embroidered items from Kandahar, Nuristani woodcarvings, Alabaster cups and statues, ethnic pottery and household ornaments are just a few of the handicrafts you will find on your explorations of Afghanistan.
Dinner in Afghanistan
Afghani food is served on a dastarkhan, a special cloth which covers a rug on the floor. After a ceremonial hand washing ceremony, the meal, including appetizers, condiments, main dishes, breads and desserts is spread on the cloth. Rice dishes are a prized component of any meal, and have spices, fruits, meats and vegetables added to them, combining to create a complex flavor profile. Quormas are onion based stews that served over simpler rices, or with naan, a flatbread that is eaten every day. For the most special of occasions, pasta dumpling are labored over for several hours and filled with ground beef and vegetables. Kebabs are not found often in the home, but are found in the cafes and street vendors of Afghanistan. The sweet endings to the meal include baklava, a layered pastry filled with nuts, and cakes. Afghani beverages include sweet and salted teas, and rich coffees.