For Afghan women, the best times are when they are together and having fun. I remember the day of my brother’s wedding. I invited my friend because it was a good chance for us to see each other. The night of the wedding, we got the bride ready for the party the next day. My mother’s friends were all there and they are like sisters to one another, sharing their sorrow and happiness together. They can’t bear to see each other sad.

That night, I realized my mother was happy and laughing more than I had ever seen her laugh before. She was very funny. She told a story of taking a friend of hers to the doctor once when the friend was sick. The thing is, that friend had never been out of the home before. My mother took her friend all around the city to show her everything. Her friend was totally surprised by all the sights.

At the end, my mother took her into a shop to have ice cream, and there was a mirror on the wall. My mom went outside for a minute and when she came back, her friend was talking to her face in the mirror: “Hi, how are you doing? Are you from the same province that I am?”

She didn’t realize she was looking at herself until she touched the mirror, and then she said, “Oh! This is me!” And then my mother and her friend laughed. My mother’s story made all the women in the room laugh too, even the bride who, in keeping with Afghan custom, had been so sad because she was leaving the family of her childhood to marry into a new family.

In Afghanistan, it isn’t usually possible to have fun with men, and in some families, it’s really hard to laugh in front of men. But when Afghan women get together, they want to be happy and make each other laugh. Though they have much sorrow and worry in their lives, when they gather together at a party, it is a good chance to laugh and have fun with friends.

By Shogofa