Kaksi nuorta naista, jotka ovat pukeutuneet värikkäisiin mekkoihin. Värikuva. Two young women wearing colourful dresses. Colour picture.

Mina Salem and Maria Salem wearing traditional Afghani costumes.

Picture: Zabi Ahmad

In this picture, my daughters are wearing traditional Afghani costumes, which have a dress-like top and trousers. The picture is taken from a friend’s wedding ceremony in Helsinki. Costumes such as these are used in Nowruz and Id celebrations, as well as for public holidays and weddings. It is a very festive costume. Men have their own traditional costumes too. My own wedding lasted for three days. The groom’s family visited my family home on the second day, and they laid a green scarf upon my head. In Afghanistan, the bride has two dresses: one green and one white. The next day, after our wedding ceremonies, me and my husband drove to his family’s home in a decorated wedding car.

My daughter’s costumes were bought in Afghanistan. They are decorated by hand with embroidery, little mirrors and ribbons. Usually these costumes are in bright colours. The design and decorations of the costumes also depend on the various ethnic cultures and fashions that change every few years. The costumes are used specifically in celebrations that involve both men and women dancing a traditional dance, Attan. Attan is accompanied with rhythmic instruments and has specific moves and choreography.  Our relatives live in different countries, but still many of our wedding traditions remain the same.

Najla Salem