Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

But the job is not done yet!
Vote for the deserving candidate this year.

Check your mail to know more

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
SPONSORED BY
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
»
2-min read

How January 1 Became the Birthday of Choice for a Generation of Afghans

January 1 - a date chosen for convenience by a generation who do not know when they were born.

AFP

Updated:January 1, 2018, 10:43 AM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
How January 1 Became the Birthday of Choice for a Generation of Afghans
An Afghan woman holds her newborn baby at Cure International's hospital in Kabul. (Representative image /Reuters)
Loading...
Kabul: January 1 is Samad Alawi's birthday. It's also the birthday of his wife, his two sons, 32 of his friends and thousands of other Afghans -- a date chosen for convenience by a generation who do not know when they were born.

In the absence of birth certificates or official records, many Afghans have long used the seasons or historical events to help determine their age.

But the explosion of social media networks such as Facebook, which require users to register their birthday, and the growing demand for passports and visas have forced Afghans to pick a day -- any day. January 1 has become a common choice, although the date is more about practicality than parties.

"It seemed all Afghans had birthdays on January 1," Samad Alawi, who is 43, said.

Even those who know their real birth date often choose January 1 because they do not want the hassle of converting their birthday from the Solar Hijri, an Islamic calendar used only in Afghanistan and Iran.

The first day of the year in Hijri usually corresponds to March 21.

"When I first created my Facebook account in 2014 it was just easier to choose January 1 as my birthday from the drop down list," Alawi told AFP.

"The internet was also slow and it was difficult to convert the date to a Western calendar."

Even the official identity card, or Tazkira, held by most Afghans offers little official clarity, with a person's age "determined based on physical appearance".

"My Tazkira says I was three years old in 1365 in the Hijri calendar (1986). That is the year my Tazkira was issued," Abdul Hadi, who is now 34, told AFP.

"There is no blank space for a date of birth in an Afghan Tazkira. How can you remember your date of birth if you don't have one on the record?"

Authorities are trying to change that.

In recent years Afghan hospitals in major cities have started issuing newborn babies with birth certificates -- something previous generations lack.

The government also plans to issue e-Tazkiras, or computerised national ID cards, to Afghans which would include their date of birth, if it is known. But the process has been stalled for years by political and technical problems.

In the absence of official records, some educated parents resort to recording their children's birthdays on slips of paper which are often kept in a copy of the Koran.

"I hope one day all Afghans have their proper date of births so that social media doesn't have to tell them how old they are," Alawi said.
| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
 
T&C Apply. ARN EU/04/19/13626
 

Live TV

Loading...
Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results