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New Vigor and Vitality in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

2019-03-14 15:11:00 Source:China Today Author:
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THE wallets of the locals are bulging, there is much laughter, people are vigorous and energetic, cultural activities have become enriched, and the lifestyle has become increasingly modernized. A walk through the southern part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will enable visitors to spot the varied changes happening in the lives of people of all local ethnic groups. They support national unity from the bottom of their hearts, and build their beautiful hometowns with full confidence, leading this ancient land to glow with new vigor and vitality.


New Trends

"Sunday Bazar" in Kaidan Mujiayi Village, Jiangbazi Township, Jiashi County ushers in a large influx of customers in the warm sunshine. The parking lot is packed, and the Bazar is bustling with people, in addition to a variety of commodities and delicacies.

Relayi Aishan, who is selling women's clothes, has dyed her hair, and has applied makeup on her face, looking stylish in her shirt, sweater vest, jeans, and boots. "The goods, all from Kashi City, are of the latest style. The more fashionable they are, the better they sell,” the 25-year-old told the reporter in fluent Mandarin.

Patiguli Taixi, who is trying to market protein powder by calling out its benefits in a loud voice, comes from Maigaiti County, more than 100 kilometers away. She quickly hands out a leaflet at the sight of the reporter. "Can farmers accept such products?" "An increasing number of farmers are gradually accepting it. I have set up a stall here for a year, and all the people who come here are return customers,” Patiguli replied happily.

Squeezing out of the Bazaar drenched with sweat, the reporter strolled through the village, and arrived at the home of Keremujiang Wupuer, who was renovating his house, and warmly invited the reporter to his home.

There are nine rooms in Keremujiang's house, covering a total area of 250 square meters. The ceiling is blue, the furniture is painted white, and the outdoor ceiling and grape rack are all of steel structures. "The decoration cost more than RMB 100,000. We demolished the kang (heatable adobe sleeping platform), now the house is cleaner.” Keremujiang's Mandarin is tinted with a trace of Shanghai accent.

Keremujiang began selling barbecues in Shanghai in 2002, and made a group of local friends. He returned to the village for a span of time every year. “Now I can accommodate my friends to Shanghai at home.” He demonstrated the benefits of migrating to other cities for work: earning more money, broadening his horizons, making friends, and so on. "People in the village used to prefer to stay at home, but now they want to go out to work. There are dozens of people working outside the region, some going to Urumqi, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, and Shanghai.  Our life will definitely get better and better,” Keremujiang said.

An increasing number of women wear makeup, more peasants migrate to other cities to work, more members of ethnic minorities can speak Mandarin, more people have relatives of different ethnic groups, and rural residents have access to more cultural activities……Mulati Heniya, director of the Philosophy Research Institute of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region Academy of Social Sciences, has observed these heartening changes in southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region. “This is true emancipation of the mind; social stability and economic development have profoundly transformed people's thinking and behavior in southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region,” he said.


New Looks

Shalamu Kadier, a 27-year-old Kashi citizen, has just returned, finishing a two-month rural job project. "Frequent contact with new things broadens people's horizons and opens up their minds. In the past two years, rural areas and farmers have undergone the greatest changes, while cities in southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region have become more modernized, ” Shalamu said while leading the reporter around the ancient city of Kashi.

The Mountain cafe in Kashi is full of a strong aroma. “We have freshly ground coffee; in addition to tourists, customers also include local residents. Now even the elderly in the old town will come for a cup of coffee. ” The shopkeeper, Mieraihemaiti Tulahong, said that several new cafes have opened here this year and business is good.

Aobulikesimu, 80, warms himself by an electric heater in front of his copper art shop. "It's better than a stove. It's environmentally friendly and doesn't pollute the environment." The stereo in the shop is playing light music. Behind this man who has been engaged in traditional crafts for 67 years is a dazzling array of bright copper artifacts. The scene is like an oil painting.

A small shop called Pretty Girl Hairdo Beauty Salon is ablaze with lights. "What products sell best?" was the question put to the business owner, Galina. "Beauty and hairdressing products are very popular. Girls nowadays usually wear makeup before going out,” Jialina answered with a smile.

As a large night market has just been built in Kashi, the night market in the ancient city is called the "Old Night Market" by Shalamu. On frequent visits to the night market, the number of smiling new faces kept increasingthe lady operating the shop selling a snack made of sheep viscera is MaAsa of the Hui ethnic minority, the stall of spicy hot pot is operated by a newcomer from Sichuan, surnamed Tang. He Ping, a girl of Han ethnicity, said that many ethnic minority residents are fond of her fried tofu, and quite a number of people have become her WeChat friends. Cui Yuying, who sells crayfish and crabs, chats with the stall owner of Uygur ethnic groupnearby and helps him arrange the tableware cheerfully.

"This is a vivid scene of national unity," said Shalamu. Shalamu's standard Mandarin arouses admiration from the cold noodles vendor who says that he is endeavoring to learn the standard spoken and written Chinese language and striving to speak with such a standard pronunciation.

National unity is as natural as breathing and as indispensable as air. In rural areas southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region every household has friends of different ethnic groups. The more they meet, the stronger the bond will naturally become.


New Pursuits

With the improvement of living standards, there are growing demands for richer spiritual life. Every rural community that the reporter recently visited is vibrant with rich and colorful cultural activities.

In Tuowankemaigaiti Village in Qianjin Town, Wushi County, villagers perform fitness dancing and fashion shows in the ecological park, and laughter echoes under the blue sky. A theatrical performance is staged here every week, and a literature and art competition is held every month. The villagers won the first prize in the county square dance contest.

In Yingtuer Village of Haniketamu Township, Kuche County residents have set up a performance team, and gained mounting popularity after a performing tour for more than a year.

Every night, the village of Guolemaili, Anakuleshi Township, Bachu County, bustles with noise and excitement. Locals walk out of their homes for leisure and pleasure in the riverside park in the village. Aziguli Yiming brings her son every night and savors the happiness watching the child play in high spirits, “Now our life is sweeter than honey!" Maihamuhan Yusufu nods in agreement: "Our homes now become “houses with a riverside view,” and we no longer envy the urban residents!"

The village has just broken the shackles of poverty. "The people of southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region are in bliss, enjoying the best and most extensive policies across the nation," Liu Yi, the first Party secretary of the village who is from the sports administration of the autonomous region, said with deep emotion. Since the Ninth Party Congress of the autonomous region, the local program to building closer ties between the government and the masses has been intensified, bringing the benefits of the government’s policies to millions of households. The public are consequently more mobilized and motivated to contribute to local development.

At the end of last year, Abudiaikenmu Rezhake held his wedding at the service center of his village, Karemaiti Village, Tushala Township, Hetian County. The wedding was simple and solemn, full of modern flavor. "The venue is arranged by the village. I just need to invite my relatives and friends and get pilaf, fruits, and pastries ready." The groom, dressed in a suit, held the bride's hand in joy as people danced and sang, sending blessings. "I am happy to see that my wedding is filled with festive singing and dancing, full of full of laughter and happiness!" Abudiaikenmu said merrily.


SUI YUNYAN is a journalist of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region Daily.

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