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Dismantling Cultural Identity in Kashgar

After a brief description, history, and emphasis on the Chinese government’s investment in renovating  Kashgar’s Idkha Mosque, an official sign proclaims the following:

All of it shows fully that Chinese government always pays special attentions to the another and historical cultures of the ethnic groups. And that all ethnic groups warmly welcome Part’s religious policy. It also shows that different ethnic groups have set up a close relationship of equality, unity and helps to each other, and freedom of beliefs is protected. All ethnic groups live friendly together here. They cooperate to build a beautiful homeland, support heartily the unity of different ethnic groups and the unity of our country, and oppose the ethnic separatism and illegal religious activities.

Meanwhile, the old city is being plowed into history. Most of it is old brick buildings that don’t look particularly sound, but asymmetrical doors and dilapidating dwellings are disappearing in favor of skyrises to house the continuing influx of ethnic Chinese into Kashgar. Gentrification Beijing style.

I came across many, many families still (while they can) making the best of their lodgings, some of which actually lack walls to the outside, like a surreal reality television series set or modern art statement.

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