“Landey” is a popular genre of Afghan folk poetry, mostly attributed to women. The Pashto word landey means ‘short’ and probably refers both to the simple two-line form of the poems and the succinct imagery often conveyed.
Landey poems traditionally have 9 syllables in the first line and 13 in the second, the second line ending in either of the two syllables -na or -ma.
The genre addresses everyday life as well as geopolitics, and has long been one of the few arenas where Afghan women express their feelings and thoughts relatively freely. It is a genre treasured by the Afghans and by speakers of Pashto everywhere, but it certainly deserves a wider audience.
The Language, Legacy and Landey project (LLL) was initiated by the Norwegian Institute of Philology (PHI) in 2017. It was officially launched at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Oslo on February 8th 2018.
LLL will edit and translate old landey poems collected by the Norwegian linguist Georg Morgenstierne (1892–1978) in the 1920s, collect new landeys from Afghans in Norway and elsewhere, and organise a number of scholarly and public events.
Language, Legacy and Landey (LLL) highlights Afghan landey poetry through publication, performance and civic engagement. It brings together historical and contemporary literary traditions, global migration, women's voices and freedom of expression.
LLL is a Linguistic Heritage initiative of the Norwegian Institute of Philology (PHI), co-organized by a number of institutions and individuals.