Men get shaved at a Tuesday Bazaar near Kashgar, East Turkestan 2012
Uyghur couple near Aksu, East Turkestan, September 2012
Many in the West have this idea that Muslim men and women do not interact with one another, a segregated culture. I have found this to be quite untrue through out East Turkestan and often in Central Asia. This husband and wife were nearly always side be side, whether in the home, picking cotton, or working their personal fruit orchard.
A Uyghur dentist near Aksu, East Turkestan (Xinjiang, China), 2012
Muslim women in East Turkestan are often educated and find themselves in high positions of employment. Although the Uyghurs are generally a lesser educated and poorer minority of China, because of politics/government, they take great care in good hygiene and oral care (by comparison to the countryside/poor Han).
Once, during a conversation with a young lady of the Hui minority (the other Muslim minority) said, “Oh, we are not like Uyghurs, they are dirty people…they eat with their hands.” I could never understand this mentality, as I’ve eaten with my hands countless times, even at Uyghur weddings. Homes are extremely clean, by Chinese standards, and they wash their hands, feet, and brush their teeth daily.
A Uyghur couple rides an electric scooter through Old Town, Kashgar. This part of Kashgar is being demolished and rebuilt like many “ancient” towns in China. It will soon be “jiade” like the Great Wall and so many other “new” old and ancient places. I was there last March and again in August and couldn’t believe what had happened in such a short period of time.
Kashgar, October 2012
A Uyghur woman prays towards Mecca in her home. Uyghurs, as all Muslims, pray at least 5 times a day. Near Kasghar, 2012