What is a toshak?

A toshak is a floor cushion or narrow mattress that is commonly used as a bed or sofa in Afghanistan. It is mainly used in living rooms and is favoured over chairs for sitting and eating.

The toshak is often colourful and placed on top of traditional Afghan carpets. As well as in Afghanistan, the toshak is widespread across Pakistan, Iran, India, Iraq and Yemen.

What is a sandali?

A sandali is a low table around which people gather and sit on toshaks to eat in the winter. The table is covered with a blanket called a lihaf, which is large enough to cover the legs of the people sitting and eating around it. 

In addition to the toshak and sandali, people often use large pillows called balesht or poshty to support their backs.

What is a dastarkhan?

A dastarkhan is a large piece of cloth or a thin mat that is spread over the floor or carpet in front of the toshak. This setup is used before food is served when it’s too cold to eat outside, but too warm to eat around a sandali.

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