Where the borders of Sichuan, Tibet, and Qinghai meet…after cycling up to 5020m. July 2011
The sacrifice of a sheep for Eid al-Adha عيد الأضحى October 2012, Aksu Xinjiang
Feast of the Sacrifice is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honor the willingness of the prophet ʾIbrāhīm (Abraham) to sacrifice his young first-born son Ismā’īl (Ishmael) as an act of submission to God’s command and his son’s acceptance to being sacrificed, before God intervened to provide Abraham with a Lamb to sacrifice instead. In the lunar Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days. In the international Gregorian calendar, the dates vary from year to year, drifting approximately 11 days earlier each year.
Mother and son pick apples in the family’s orchard, September 2012
Early fall is fruit harvesting season in Xinjiang. Many families have their own orchards and fields that they grow a variety of fruit. The fruit is stored in a small building and eaten through out the fall and winter.
Fruit picking is much more difficult than you would imagine; as I dropped at least 1 in every 4 apples and pears I picked.
Life on the Tibetan Plateau (by Ellen Moseman)
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The eldest sister helps dress the younger before heading to town for supplies. Tibetans generally have 2 sets of clothing and you can see the eldest wearing her work clothes while the younger wears ornate and clean clothing when leaving home. It took approximately an hour for this young lady to clean and dress before heading out with a few of the family members. This family consisted of 10 members and lived in this room together.
U-Tsang Tibet, September 2011
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Tibetan girl wears a traditional dress (coat) and poses before attending a dance. Tibet Autonomous Region, 2011
Three generations of Uyghur women, and a girl, are preparing the daily meal of Kawa Manta in a traditional city home in East Turkestan. Kawa Manta is a large steamed dumpling made with pumpkin.
Young Uyghur men install counterfeited software and exchange bootleg movies after a day of working in the orchards. September 2012, East Turkestan
Many would be surprised how aware of technology and pop culture the people of East Turkestan (the far Western reaches of China) are. Many covet the latest iPhone and can talk about Hollywood blockbusters of the last decade. Also, quite aware of local fashion trends; where the men dress more hip and Western than the Han Chinese majority.
Because of limited news resources, many use websites like the BBC to follow modern news and politics. The Uyghurs in cities that have followed through with high school education are free thinkers, inquisitive, and very well aware of what’s happening in their own country and elsewhere. Even in the countryside, there is intelligence and a curiosity. They know what is going on politically and religiously…perhaps no computers or iPhones, but there are rumors of underground newspapers circulating and secret meetings among men.
Boys take time out from unloading cabbage for an impromptu game of “basketball”. Zamyn Udd, Mongolia July 2010
Zamyn Udd is a Mongolia border town to China. The vehicles are loaded in Erlianhaote and then shuttled across the border, supplies ranging from produce, milk, to toilet paper. The Gobi is vast desolate desert but China has had some progress preventing desertification within their borders, including the Taklamakan. Crossing from China, where they have planted trees and initiated an irrigation system, into Mongolia you see the quality of life drop drastically.
Most of these supplies are then loaded onto the train and transported en route to Ulaanbator. Train cars are over loaded and you are often required to rest against other passengers cargo of supplies and produce.