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Afghan Mirror

Mongols Influence Over Pashtuns

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Mongols Influence Over Pashtuns
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Baba-ocracy

Mongol Influences Over Pashtuns

It is no secret that the Hazaras of Afghanistan have been belittled and ridiculed for many reasons, especially by the Pashtuns.  The Pashtuns have shamelessly mocked Hazaras for being descendants of the Mongols, something that no one can control.  For years they have called Hazaras "foreigners," "invaders," etc.  There really is no way to pinpoint just where the origins of the Hazaras started and there have been many speculations but one thing is clear—the Hazaras have longer, stronger, and more solid ties to the region than the Pashtuns have.  For years, however, the Pashtuns have held the Mongols' past as a shameful pall over the Hazaras.  Now, there is major irony here once this matter is deeply delved into.  The Hazaras might share physical features but it isn't anything significant because the Uzbeks, Turkmen, and other people like the Chinese, Vietnamese, Philippines, and Japanese have the same features.  Whereas the Hazaras might share their physical features with the Mongols at the most, it is the Pashtuns who actually have more in common with the Mongols than any other ethnicity—in fact, they actually owe many of their terms and parts of their culture to the Mongols.        
 
            The information for this article was provided by the book The Secret History of the Mongols by Paul Kahn.  I was very fascinated by this book because it was to be an assembly of the ruling families during the time of the Mongols and it was made only for the royal families to read and possess.  Their history and what they left behind is an interesting one.   The Mongols ruled over the region for nearly a century.  And then their Persianized descendants continued to rule for hundreds of years later—they were the Uzbeks and other descendants that had converted to Islam and had adopted the nature and culture of the region they were in.  They were known as looters, destroyers, barbarians—ironically the very same words have been used to describe the Pashtuns, signaling another thing they have in common.  The Pashtuns do not hesitate to throw this in the face of the Hazaras when in fact they should probably thank the Mongols because if it wasn't for them, they would be missing half their tribes and culture.  Pashtuns are known for their stubbornness and pride.  What they have pride over is questionable.  They are not as original or established as they like to believe they are.  They have many borrowed terms and words from the Mongols.  
 
            One of the major words borrowed by the Pashtuns from the Mongols is the word "Khan."  Khan is a Mongolian title that originally meant commander, leader or ruler.  Khan also means a leader of a tribe now, giving the word connotations of honor.  Though the title is very common all over Central Asia, it is the Pashtuns who use it more than anyone else.  They even use it twice in their names i.e. Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan.  If it weren't for this title, the Pashtuns wouldn't know how to label their own leaders.  And there are plenty of other terms and words.
 
            Many of the Pashtun tribes are derived from Mongolian names and terms.  "Zadran" and "Zazai" are Pashtun tribes in Paktia, Paktika, and Khost.  Their roots are from "Jadarin" and "Jaji" two Mongolian terms.  "Zadran" and "Zazai" are also known by non Pashtuns in Afghanistan as "Jadran" and "Jaji".  Jadarin is the name of the clan that Changiz Khan was from.  Jaji was the name of Changiz's grandfather and he was the leader of the Jadarin clan.  In the Mogolian language "Jaji" means "foreigner" so the Zazai's are basically calling themselves foreigners.  "Khil" means "clan" in the Mongolian language, a term very much familiar with the Pashtuns.  "Orya" is the name of one of Changiz's grandson and "Oryakhil" is a name of a Pashtun tribe.  "Zay" means "son" in the Mongolian language.  The very-similar Pashto word "Zoy" also means "son."  The Pashto words "Zai" and "Khil" signifies groups in Pashto and they were obviously taken by the Mongolian words mentioned earlier—"khil" and "zay."  A few other words that are copied or "borrowed" are the Mongolian words "Wolos" which means "people," "Jerga" which means "council," and "Shahghalay" which means "mister." Changiz's first wife, Borte Ujin, came from the Karot tribe and "Kharot" is the name of a Pashto tribe.  This is obviously not a mistake or a coincidence.  The Pashtuns basically "borrowed" or stole these name and applied them to themselves, illustrated just how obsessed they were with the Mongols.          
 
            Karo was the title of a spiritual man in the clan of Changiz Khan's first wife.  And now, Karokhil is the name of a Pashto tribe.  Also, another major source of pride for Pashtuns is the Mangal tribe from Paktia, Khost, and Paktika.  I have seen many Pashtuns proudly proclaim themselves as mighty and proud Mangals.  Interestingly enough the Mongols called themselves "Mangals."  "Mongol" itself is an English word and "Mangal" is the Mongolian term just like "Mughul" is the Farsi word for Mongols.  For example, Americans call the people of Germany as "Germans" but the Germans call themselves "Deutsch."  There is also an island in Mongolia called Talkun which has two rivers that run through it.  The names of the rivers are Selenge and Orgon.  Changiz Khan's clan was based right next to the Orgon River.  Now, in Paktika, there is a place called Urgun.  
 
            These were just some of the major terms and names that the Pashtuns took from the Mongols.  I know that not a lot—if hardly anyone—is aware of the origins of some of the Pashto names and terms but they were obviously taken from the Mongols, a group of people that the Pashtuns have spent years making fun of.  This exemplifies just how little claim the Pashtuns have over their own culture and names—what makes them think they can have any legitimate claim over anything else like the land?  At the most, the Hazaras and others with similar features just share an outward appearance of the Mongols which is shared by probably one-third of the world.  The Pashtuns' resemblance to the Mongols goes deeper than just features.  They have mentally and historically copied the Mongols in acts of savagery and barbarisms.  Whereas the Mongols committed horrific acts in the 13th Century, the Pashtuns have and are committing horrific act to the present day in the form of Abdali, Abdul Rahman , the Taliban, and political oppression.  Another thing the 13th Century Mongols and the present-day Pashtuns have in common is the fact that they both had tribal systems.  The 13th Century Mongols were all different tribes which Changiz Khan united them all and became the Khan over them.  Modern-day Mongolia is no longer tribal but the Pashtuns still hold unto their tribal system to this day—just like Changiz Khan's people.  For more on the Pashtun tribal system please refer to the article titled "Baba-ocracy."