In Love and War

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"In Love and War" Abstract: Women of Afghanistan are forced to live under oppressive regulations set forth for them by the men of their societies. Women have virtually no rights to do anything for themselves. There entire lives are controlled by and lived for someone else. Through their songs, they lament the conditions of their lives and are able to convey a beauty in their verses that all people can identity with. (67 words) Key Words: Pashtun, women, honor, oppression, songs Love and war, two concepts that are so contradictory it is hard to believe they could ever coexist simultaneously in one society. War is a state of conflict, hostility and chaos which reeks havoc on civilizations as opposing forces struggle to defend…show more content…
Though each of these songs is unique, they all continuously exalt three familiar themes "that taste of blood" (XVI). These themes are love, honor and death. Love is forbidden for the Pashtun woman. As previously mentioned she is subject to an arranged marriage which never takes into account her feelings of love, but rather the most economically sound decision for her father's family. Being forced into this unwanted union she must submit herself to a man she does not care for and often suppress her true emotions for another whom she cannot openly love. When speaking of the husband, a Pashtun woman never speaks in terms of endearment, but rather mocks as she incessantly refers to him as the "little horror". Love is strictly prohibited by the Pashtun honor code and is punishable by death (2). From this oppression rises the song of lovers. Women can only love in secret, at night when the rest of the village is asleep. She is able to see her lover only for a few short hours in the darkness until she must return to her life of submission by day. "Last night I was close to my lover, oh evening of love not to return again! Like a bell, with all my jewels and deep into the night I was chiming in his arms."(5) In these songs she is not afraid to raise subjects that are forbidden as she sings with brutal honesty. She speaks of her body freely and exalts her capacity to love. She is

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