Reporter's notebook: A tour of Urumqi and Ili in Xinjiang
Updated: 2011-08-13 17:57
By Uking Sun (chinadaily.com.cn)
China Daily online reporter Uking Sun made a one-week visit to Urumqi and Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in August. The following photos illustrate a bit of this vast land and its people. Photos by Uking Sun.
1. Once a place of exile
Lin Zexu (1785-1850) is remembered as a national hero for Chinese people for his fight against opium smuggling in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). He ordered the destruction of smuggled opium confiscated from foreign dealers at Humen Beach in South China's Guangdong province on June 3, 1839. But when the British retaliated by ravaging South China in 1840, the Daoguang emperor exiled Lin Zexu to the remote Ili in north Xinjiang the next year. For a long time, Ili was the place for those punished, including the righteous writers who irritated emperors, candidates who cheated in the imperial examination system, and corrupt officials. This statue of Lin Zexu now stands at a park in Urumqi, Xinjiang.
2. A long tradition of music
These musical instruments, metronome made of camel bone, horns of ram and ox, and horse’s hoof at a museum fully demonstrate the long history of loving music and dance by the ethnic groups in Xinjiang, such as Uygur and Kazak.