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Hazara

From Academic Kids

The Hazara ethnic group resides mainly in the central Afghanistan mountain region called 'Hazarajat'. They make approximately 20% of Afghanistan's population. There are also significant populations of Hazaras in Pakistan and Iran.

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History

Historically, the Hazara seem to have Mongoloid origins, as evidenced by physical attributes and parts of the culture and language. It is commonly believed that the Hazara are descendants of Genghis Khan's army, which marched into the area during the 12th century. Proponents of this view hold that many of the Mongol soldiers and their families settled in the area and remained there after the Mongol empire dissolved in the 13th century, converting to Islam and adopting local customs.

However, this theory is contested on the basis of historical events surrounding Genghis Khan's invasion of what today constitutes Central Afghanistan. The invading Mongol armies encountered fierce resistance from the locals around Bamiyan, who had Asian features like the invading Mongols. This suggests that people with Mongoloid features inhabited Central Afghanistan long before Genghis Khan's invasion and probably arrived there in much earlier waves of migration out of Central Asia.

Historical records also mention that in a particularly bloody battle around Bamiyan, Genghis Khan's grandson Motochin was killed. He ordered Bamiyan burnt to the ground in retribution, renaming it Ma-Obaliq ("Uninhabitable Abode").

Language

The language 'Hazaragi' is a unique dialect of the Persian language, with many Mongolian and Turkish elements. Hazargi is categorized in the Indo-European language family, and 9% of Afghanis speak it.

Religion

Hazaras are predominantly Shia (twelver) Muslims, although there are significant populations of Sunni and Ismaili Hazaras in the north and northwestern Afghanistan. The Aimagh (Chahar Aimag) Hazaras for instance are predominantly Sunni.

Political

Politically, most Hazaras have fallen under the Hizb-e-Wahdat party since the early 1990s. The most influential person of the party was Ustad Abdul Ali Mazari, who was taken captive and killed by the Taliban. The martyrdom made him the symbolic leader of this ethnic group.ja:ハザラ人 pl:Hazarowie zh:哈扎拉族

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