Kashgar | Disco My Way

As Uighurs resist Chinese hegemony and seek to assert an independent identity, some turn to outside modernising forces, while others opt for religious conservatism.

01 March 2011
Standing in front of the Id Kah mosque, the largest in China, Uighur women watch Uighur men dance wildly in the central square. In a country that discourages religion, the men are celebrating the end of the Ramadan fasting period.
FRITZ HOFFMANN / IN PICTURES / CORBIS
Standing in front of the Id Kah mosque, the largest in China, Uighur women watch Uighur men dance wildly in the central square. In a country that discourages religion, the men are celebrating the end of the Ramadan fasting period.
FRITZ HOFFMANN / IN PICTURES / CORBIS

THE SUN WON’T SET ON KASHGAR for another three hours, but inside the Padiqi disco night is well under way.

In the dark, it’s difficult to see faces among the steady stream of young Uighur men and women, mostly teenagers, pouring in past the waiters done up in leather cowboy hats, offering bottled iced teas and cold sodas to the patrons.

Night falls long before dark in Kashgar, so to say, well before worried parents fret about what their children might do in mixed company. In their own simple act of rebellion, the kids have created darkness at 3 pm, flocking to the city’s daytime disco clubs and returning home in plenty of time for dinner.

Kathleen E Mclaughlin is a Senior Correspondent in China at GlobalPost. She has reported extensively on topics as diverse as economics, trade policy, human trafficking and endangered species. 

Keywords: china Uighur Kashgar Islam
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