Today we are visitng Uyghur Village in Turpan. Hoping to learn some of the Uyghur culture and lifestyle at their home.
Who are the Uyghur?
Uyghurs are one of the minority group in China out of the 56 groups. However there are very big population of Uyghur in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China.
The Uyghur are Muslim and regard themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian. Uyghur are actually Turkic ethnic group and live primarily in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in China. Uyghur’s look are similar to Central Eurasia. To me, they look very much like Turkish people.
Uyghurs also exist in the Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and also in Turkey. The one thing I find it unusual is most Uyghurs speak Chinese with an accent, very cute accent! Of course some Uyghurs especially the young generation speak perfect Chinese. Uyghurs do have their own language and writing, similar to arabic.
Uyghurs are descendants of wolves according to the Uyghur creation myth. Chinese are descendants of dragons according to their creation myth.
Uyghur Home Visit at Turpan Xinjiang
When we arrived at the Uyghur home, we were greeted by the Uyghur family. Everyone of us was given a red Uyghur’s hat to wear. Pretty cute.
The host who is at his 30’s married twice and speak Chinese came to greet us. He entertained us well with funny songs being translated in Chinese. The most exciting part is when the host showed us how a Uyghur man propose to a Uyghur lady, his dance action & movement indicating some hidden meaning. It was just too funny and we all have a good laugh.
Later on, the host also asked one of his aunties to dance the Uyghur dance. It was pretty short, less than 5 mins. Managed to see some dance move from her hands, not a professional dancer but good enough as she is just a housewife.
Long Table Setting
Traditionally Uyghurs sit on the floor on large cushions. It was a long table setting, only men are allowed to sit inside and all ladies have to take the seat outside. We were told that inside seats are VIP seats and reserve for men only. ( You notice gender inequality here, men always being treated better).
Watermelon and naan bread was served. Turpan is famous for it sweet melon as the weather here is ideal for fruits such as melon and grapes. We were told the naan bread was handmade by the owner’s aunties. It tasted very delicious! I ate many of them.
Afer we finished tasting the watermelon and homemade naan bread, the owner introduce us the local farmer home-grown raisins.
Various Type of Raisins
There are many types of raisin and all have different size and colors. Different type of raisin is used for different purposes. Some raisin are for men and some raisin are for women. There are just too many species and I could only remember two or them, the” Grandfather” raisin and “Grandmother” raisin.
Top grade : Grandfather & Grandmother Raisin
Grandfather & grandmother raisin are very huge in size, almost three-fold from the usual raisin we see. The taste is very sweet. I bought 1 kg each. Buy 2 kg and get 1 kg free. The price for grandfather & Grandmother raisin aren’t cheap. It cost us roughly USD 60 (RMB 400) for the 3 kg of Grandfather and Grandmother raisin. Since we could not find such huge raisin in Singapore, we bought some home.
Final thoughts :
It was a good experience to have a house visit at Uyghur home and learn about raisin in Turpan Xinjiang. We really enjoyed and get entertained well by the young Uyghur man especially with his cute accent and his funny dance – how a Uyghur man propose to a lady.
We were dazzled by the bright colours of their traditional dress and decoration of the Uyghur home.
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