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Absolute Xinjiang
2005-09-21 17:08:39      CRIENGLISH.com
Using your eyes, ears and hands, here you needn't move an inch to explore the remote Xinjiang...

Clickto Listen

CRIENGLISH Travel accompanys you to find the Absolute Xinjiang ---

 scenic spots, photo galleries and tips...

   

as well as the  first-hand reports and pictures from Xinjiang by CRI reporter Liu Min ---

Turpan, a Xinjiang Legend
Ili, the Most Beautiful Place in Xinjiang
Kuqa and Korla
Xinjiang Photo Gallery

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region covers over 1,600,000 square kilometers (617,763 square miles), one-sixth of China's total territory. With a population of over 19 million, Xinjiang is home to 47 ethnic groups including the Uygur, the major ethnic group in Xinjiang.

Xinjiang has a desert climate with a low annual rainfall of only 150 millimeters (6 inches). The best time to visit this province is in the autumn, when the days are long, the sky is clear and temperatures more bearable. Another excellent reason to visit at that time is the abundance of delicious melons and other fruits and vegetables which are then available.

Xinjiang has a long history. The area was called Xiyu in ancient China which means "West Region". It was plundered by the Huns before the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). During the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD), Xinjiang was treated as an integral part of the nation's territory.

Superlatives are often used when describing Xinjiang: the most arid province; the longest inland river, the Tarim; the lowest marsh, the Aydingkol Lake (Moonlight Lake) in the Turpan Basin; the largest inland lake and the largest desert. In Xinjiang tourists can visit the world-famous Yadan Spectacle in Korla, stone forests, enjoy the mystery of the desert with its spectacular sand mountains. The ancient Silk Road brought Xinjiang a mix of eastern and western cultures which left behind stunning relics.

While you are visiting Xinjiang, it is important to be aware of the time zone being used. Although officially run on Beijing time, Xinjiang people also use there own system. If Beijing time is used it means that the sun doesn't raise until 9am and it is still light at midnight in the summer months. When making travel arrangements, be sure which time zone or system is being used or you could get caught out. (Source: travelchinaguide.com)

Xinjiang Folk Song and Dance

Xinjiang is nicknamed the Land of Song and Dance. The ethnic minorities dwelling here, such as the Uygur, Kazak, Tajik, Mongol, Manchu, Uzbek and Tatar, are passionate about singing and dancing, and are accomplished at both. During the region's long history of development, people of various ethnic groups have created a rich tradition for the two art forms, which, together with the ringing of camel bells along the Silk Road, are traditions that have spread far beyond Xinjiang. As early as 2nd century B.C., Yutian Dance had spread to central China where it received warm applause from the local Han people.

    

Xinjiang song and dance reflect unique flavors of ethnic minorities living in northwest China. Take the Uygur ethnic group as an example. Twelve Muqam is renowned for its grand scale and profound meaning, and showcases the wisdom and musical talents of the Uygur people. The dance appears reserved, graceful and composed. The women dance with elegance while the men give a bold and unrestrained performance.

Another ethnic group that deserves mention is Kazak. A Kazak proverb reads that "singing and the horse are the two wings of the Kazak people? Sonorous and melodious, Kazak folk songs convey the strong atmosphere of the grasslands using the accompaniment of a Dongbula, a string instrument unique to the ethnic group, and used widely throughout the many other groups in Xinjiang. Their dance style is upbeat, bold and straightforward, noticeably in the movement of the shoulders.

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