Grace Tu

Grace Tu

Monday, September 12, 2011

Xinjiang Part I - The Region of Ethnic Tensions 新疆之旅 Part I

In Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the largest region in China, tensions between Uyghur and Han has resulted in several instances of violence and ethnic clashes in recent years, such as the Ghulja incident of 1997 and the 2008 Kashgar attack. In July 2009, large scale riots took place in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. The official report after the riots said that close to 200 people died, with over 1,700 other injured. In August 2011, killings of Han broke out again in Kashgar, just a few weeks before my visit.

Due to PRC’s media control, we never really knew how much of the official information we could rely on, or whether the footage shown on TV could reflect exactly what happened. Did the Chinese government, as certain human rights groups indicated, exaggerate the incidents? Or were there aggressions and cruelty not shown? While Western media continuously criticize PRC’s media control, and the fact that Beijing has attributed this social unrest in Xinjiang to the forces of “terrorism”, we ask if Western media has really been unbiased on the Xinjiang issue, and whether Beijing has a good reason for such labeling.

The only way to get into something deeper than the official coverage is to be in there, to talk to the people who make up this culture complexity, to listen to the people who actually saw and experience the riots. Without being in there, we wouldn’t be able to understand what kind of resentment could make one ethnic group believe they have the right and need to kill the other; we wouldn’t be able to know what created the hatred that gives young Uyghurs the mind power to conduct suicide attacks. Without actually being in there, we could only form our opinions through other people’s eyes and ears instead of our own. Although it is undeniable that everyone is biased when forming opinions, it is only when we see and hear from the source we can be sure that the opinions are the closest to how we should feel and what we should believe in.

近年來 在新疆維吾爾自治區內 漢族與維吾爾族衝突不斷
二零零九年烏魯木齊大暴動 根據中國官方統計 有接近兩百人死亡 超過一千七百多人輕重傷

由於中國政府對於媒體的監控 我們無從得知這些資料的正確性 更無法確定新聞中撥出的片段是否真實的呈現暴動的慘況
我們不知道事件是否如維族人權組織所指被誇大 或者有更多未被公開的血腥場面
當西方媒體不斷的批評中國的媒體監控 以及批評中國對外宣稱這些暴動為恐怖組織所為時 我們需要瞭解西方媒體是否有足夠的背景和了解做公正的報導 我們需要深思每件事 每個決策的兩面性

我們身在新疆之外 不論是在中國 在台灣 在加拿大 所看的以及所聽的 都是經過其他人或媒體的眼和耳 我們由此產生的意見不一定是我們真正的意見

雖然說每個人都一定會多少對事對物有偏見 但只有在我們從資料的最初處親眼看見或聽到時產生的意見才是最接近我們真實的意見

從新疆人的口中 我要聽到是甚麼樣的仇恨讓人開殺戒 是甚麼樣的苦讓維族小女孩決定引爆自殺炸彈 暴動的真正原由何在 民族的融合有多麼困難 我們盡力了嗎?

Photo: Uyghuran instrument store in Kashgar

Photo: Street of Kashgar

Photo: An Kyrgyz on his horse. Kyrgyz is one of the nine main ethnic groups in XinJiang.

Photo: close to Pakistan boarder

Photo: Armies close to Pakistan boarder

Photo: An Uyghur playing Uyghuran instrument in a market in Kashgar

Photo: armies everywhere in Urumqi and other cities

Photo: Green is the most important color for Uyghur. Without seeing their faces, you could distinguish Uyghur and Hui people by the color of their hats (green or white).

Photo: An Uyghuran girl on the street of Kashgar

Photo: Kyrgyz woman and her sheeps close to Pakistan boarder. Kyrgyz is one of the nine mian ethinic groups in XinJiang

Photo: Hui couple in the city of Changji. Hui Muslim is one of the nine main ethnic groups in Xinjiang

Photo: Hui people in the city of Changji. Hui Muslim is one of the nine main ethnic groups in Xinjiang

Photo: A Kazakh playing his instrument - Kazakh is one of the nine main ethnic groups in XinJiang

Photo: Army monitoring the cities

Photo: After the riots, all the communication in Xinjiang were strickly monitored. Every phone calls with converstaion regarding the riots would be cut-off immediately. All cell phone services were shot down and not recovered until almost a year.

Photo: Kyrgyz children close the the boarder of Pakistan boarder. Kyrgyz is one of the nine main ethnic groups in XinJiang.

Photo: close to Pakistan boarder

1 comment:

  1. I think the Government policy for between ethnic and ethnic is not always enough.
    Otherwise, The world would not have so many wars.

    (其餘還是暫時用中文寫好了 ^^" )