Hazaras

Article

October 19, 2021

The Hazaras, Hazâras or Hézâreh (Persian هزاره, hazara آزره) are a people of Afghanistan (they mainly reside in Hazaradjat) with controversial origins. They live mainly in central Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan and then to a lesser extent in a small part of Turkmenistan. They speak Persian.

Dark origins

We get lost in conjectures about the origins of the Hazara population, origins which have not been fully reconstructed. The hypothesis according to which they are the descendants of soldiers of Genghis Khan. As early as 1962, Franz Schurmann (in) seriously questioned it. Recent linguistic and ethnological studies have confirmed that Schurmann was right. “First mentioned in 1417, the Hazaras were probably part of nomadic Mongol groups east of the Altai, which moved west. They probably did not come with the conquering troops of Genghis Khan or his thirteenth century successors, contrary to what the “military” etymology of their name might suggest ”. A third theory, the most accepted academically, maintains that the Hazaras are a heterogeneous group. This is not entirely incompatible with the descent of Mongolian military forces. Thus, the Nikoudari Mongols settled in eastern Persia and mixed with the indigenous populations, then a second wave composed mainly of Chagatais, coming from Central Asia, was followed by other Turco-Mongols, associated with the Ilkhanids (hunted of Persia) and the Timurids, who all settled in Hazarajat and mixed with the local Persian-speaking population, forming a distinct group [ref. necessary].

Language

The Hazaras speak Hazaragi, a Persian dialect with a few words of Turkish origin. “Phonetic, morphological and semantic data attest that the language adopted by the Hazaras comes either from Ghor or from adjacent regions where Persian / Dari was spoken. " The Hazaras represent about 30% of the Afghan population. According to some sources, they make up more than a third of the population of Kabul. They mainly occupy central Afghanistan, in the high valleys dominated by the peaks of the Hindu Kush, but there are six groups around this central core, distributed in the following areas or districts: Koh-e Bâbâ, Cheikh Ali (between Bâmiyân and Doāb), Badakhchan, Aimak, Taïmanis and Berberis (south-east of Mechhed). They are almost all Twelver Shiites, with the exception of a small group west of Dochi which is linked to Ismailism, and a few Sunni populations. The main city of Hazaradjat is Bâmiyân, seat of the governorate of the province of the same name. Bâmiyân is famous for the giant Buddhas carved into the cliff, which were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

Geographical distribution

Diaspora

According to anthropologist Alessandro Monsutti, migration is the traditional way of life of the Hazara people, judging by seasonal and historical migrations that have never ceased and do not appear to be dictated solely by emergencies such as the war. Besides the main populations of Hazaras in Quetta (Pakistan), where many have reached socially high positions, in Iran there are communities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and the northern European countries such as Sweden and Denmark. Australia has many students, alongside a population of Afghan origin who migrated there either under refugee status or through work visas.

Hazaras in Pakistan

Initially, the Hazaras who carried out seasonal work sub

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