“What’s bacha posh?” you may ask. Literally it means “disguised as a boy.”
I learned about bacha posh in The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg. She interviewed many Afghan women to learn about this cultural practice of girls dressing and living as boys in Afghanistan. Why would a family choose to do this?
I can’t stop thinking about these women’s experiences, because there’s so much to think about: the roles of women, gender identity, human rights, cultural beliefs. Even the way Nordberg titled the sections of this book made me think. The book’s about girls and women, right? The sections are titled Boys, Youth, Men, Fathers. What’s that about?
Since I’ve read the book twice already, I've started looking for more about bacha posh and women in Afghanistan. Here’s my list. Is there anything else that you think I should add to it?
I love when people recommend books to me. In fact, it’s because a friend gave me this book as a gift that I discovered it at all. (Thank you, A. It’s my favorite book so far this year.)
If you’d like me to recommend books especially for you, contact me at My Librarian Lisa W.