Uyghurs find China’s ‘cultural nourishment’ campaign hard to stomach

  

Uyghurs find China’s ‘cultural nourishment’ campaign hard to stomach

The promotion of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s theory of “cultural nourishment” by Uyghurs at this year’s session of China’s rubber-stamp parliament points to new efforts to supplant the culture of the Uyghurs with Chinese customs and traditions, Uyghur and Chinese analysts said.To get more chinese culture news, you can visit shine news official website.

The 2022 sessions the National People’s Congress (NPC), and its advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) wind down this week. The largely symbolic meetings ratify decisions made by the Communist Party, which allows no opposition.

Slogans from an address to parliament by Xi — including “cultural nourishment” and the “consciousness of the whole of the Chinese nation” — were immediately promoted by pro-government representatives from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), drawing scorn from the Uyghur diaspora.

One CPPCC representative, ethnic Uyghur dancer Dilnar Abdullah, advocated the further strengthening of the theory of cultural nourishment proposed by Xi and spoke in favor of “investment into the culture and arts of the ethnic groups,” according to a report on Tengritagh (Tianshan), the official website of the XUAR government.

In her speech, Dilnar emphasized that current research into the theory of culturally nourishing Xinjiang was insufficient, and that educational textbooks did not adequately reflect Chinese cultural tradition, particularly for young people.

The Tianshan report quoted Dilnar as promoting introducing “consciousness of the unity of the Chinese nation” in textbooks at all levels to educate and cultivate artists in Xinjiang, and to bring Chinese classical poetry, literature, and painting into schools there to “weave cultural nourishment into school education.”

The Chinese government’s use of Uyghurs like Dilnar to promote the adoption of Chinese culture in Xinjiang is an old and familiar tactic, said Ilshat Hassan Kokbore, the U.S.-based vice chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

“The Chinese government uses them, so of course they champion ethnic unity,” he said. “What they’re calling cultural nourishment here is assimilation by means of Chinese culture.”

Ilshat noted that Dilnar is the daughter-in-law of Ismail Amat, a politician of Uyghur ethnicity who held several political positions, including chairman of the XUAR and chairman from 1979 to 1985, and minister of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission from 1986 to 1998.

Some Uyghurs viewed Amat, a prominent Muslim Communist Party member, as a mouthpiece of the Chinese government and its policies concerning ethnic minorities and condemnation of separatist tendencies.

Kokbore called Dilnar and other Chinese government appointees “puppets” — officials who have faithfully carried out Beijing’s policies.

“She is a puppet of China, Dilnar Abdullah,” he said. “We can say she is a tool of theirs. If they tell her to do something, she does it. In this way, the Chinese government can say they’re doing things that Uyghurs themselves want.”


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