Vienna Hosts the Largest Afghan Cultural Festival Celebrating Integration


Photo: @Murtaza Elham

By Ali Ahmad

In a colorful and vibrant display of unity, the Afghan diaspora in Austria organized the largest cultural and sports festival of its kind in Vienna. This historic event served as a brilliant tribute to the rich tapestry of Afghan culture,legacy, and customs while showcasing the remarkable degree of integration the Afghancommunity in Austria has accomplished. The Afghan diaspora organization – “New Start Sport and Cultural Association“organized the festival. 

In October 2010, a group of young Afghans established the New Start association with the objective of facilitating the integration of Afghan refugees and their peaceful interaction with the hosting society. Since then, it has arranged the yearly “From Kabul to Vienna” celebration of friendship and peace. Every year has a particular slogan but this year was the 10th festival with the motto of “kick for tolerance and togetherness” that aimed to promote mutual understanding through sports and cultural activities from September 2nd to September 3rd in Vienna. The event was halted for three years during the coronavirus-19 outbreak. 

The festival provided a beautiful immersion into Afghan culture and was a true feast for the senses. With mouthwatering traditional Afghan food and captivating music and dance performances, guests were given a genuine taste of Afghan culture. In addition, the event included thrilling sports competitions including football and volleyball contests that drew attendees from both the hosting country and the Afghan diaspora. 

The festival demonstrated the Afghan community’s dedication to promoting harmony and understanding in addition to its festivities. Workshops on integration provided a forum for insightful conversations about the difficulties and achievements of Afghan integration in Austria, with a focus on tolerance, diversity, and cross-cultural interaction.

In addition to honoring Afghanistan’s rich cultural legacy, this spectacular celebration emphasized the inclusiveness and spirit of integration that characterize the Afghan community in Austria. It is a brilliant illustration of how people from different cultural backgrounds can coexist, share customs, and forge a more cohesive, resilient community.

In addition to being a cultural exhibition, the Afghan Cultural Festival “From Kabul to Vienna” was a powerful statement of solidarity, integration, and the limitless possibilities of cross-cultural dialogue in our increasingly interconnected world.

Ali Ahmad is a Vienna-based researcher focusing on migration and diaspora studies. 

Note: The contents of the article are of sole responsibility of the author. Afghan Diaspora Network will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the articles.

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