I love winter in Afghanistan.  When it snows I always stand outside and experience the snow. Snow gives me a sense of calm, cleanliness, and happiness. My mother always tells people that when it snows, no one can stop me from going out. I like to see how the snow covers trees and houses like a beautiful blanket all over the world.  Snow seems to clean everything, even our inner selves.

My brothers do not agree with me about the beauty of winter. They tell me I am too distracted by the snow, and that I am not working as hard as others and if I went outside without enough warm clothes and had to sell items in the open air all day I would not love the winter. They are right. But I still love snow.   

My special memory from winter is my childhood time with my friends and classmates. We went to winter classes and on our way back home with my brothers and sisters we would ski and drop snow on each other and enjoy our day.

In Afghanistan, it seems that winter is different from many places in the world. Due to the expense of heating schools, students spend the three months of winter at home. In fact, students love this break and during their final exams they make plans for it. When I was at school and university, I would make plans to go to my close relatives’ house and spend one or two nights with them. But my family also enrolled us in winter courses during the break.

In the winter as the weather grows colder, everyone can feel the cold and wealthy families try to help the poor families. They prepare clothes, food, and heating materials and distribute them among poor families. Currently, such support is also led by some governmental entities here in Kabul.

At our home in Kabul, we warm the house with a wood-fueled heater. There is not enough electricity to use an electric heater. Most people use another type of heater called a sandalee, which is like a wooden table and they put coal under it.

On snowy days, we cook different foods that warm us up. My mother often cooks Aash, which is a noodle soup made with coriander, turmeric, and hot chili pepper. It is a delicious and special food for cold, snowy days.

From a security point of view, winter can be called the calm season. In the winter, the Taliban cannot continue their terrorist attacks. It is too cold and most of the roads are closed due to heavy snow.

By Asma

Photo by SplitShire