Sunday, February 28, 2021

‘No one needs this job now’: the mild leaders of China’s Uighur exiles – in footage | World improvement

Dzhigit-beshchi is the identify Uighur folks in Kyrgyzstan give to the chief they elect for his or her mahallah – or group. Normally it’s a revered particular person, principally an aged man.

Pushed out of China throughout the repressions of the 1960s, tens of 1000’s of Uighurs went to the previous Soviet Union when these ageing leaders had been simply younger males. Sticking carefully to family members and acquaintances who had come to Soviet cities and villages in earlier waves, they constructed mosques and mahallahs, every with its personal dzhigit-beshchi.

The duties of the dzhigit-beshchi are usually not written down, however everybody is aware of he should be kindly and take care of these in want. A dzhigit-beshchi helps to organise weddings, celebrations, feasts, funerals. All go him for assist after they want it.

Abdulov Mirzakim aji Abdulovich

Abdulov Mirzakim aji Abdulovich, 79, is dzhigit-beshchi for 7,000 folks within the Higher Tokoldosh, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

“We got here from China to the united states once I was 22, and ever since then we’ve lived in Kyrgyzstan. I’m the final dzhigit-beshchi, and the proprietor of the native mosque. I constructed it myself.

“Since I turned the dzhigit-beshchi, 4 folks with none family members died in our settlement, with nobody to bury them. I used to be the one to bury all 4. Raised the cash and buried them.

“You want expertise to be a dzhigit-beshchi. To start with, the particular person must be an orator, wants to have the ability to converse properly. Apart from that, it’s essential to be good at figuring folks out, understanding personalities. Solely then will a dzhigit-beshchi be capable of do the work properly.

“I can’t sit in a single place with out working, I’m all the time on the road, with the fellows, with the folks.”

Zhakhanov Gairat Abdrakhmanovich

Zhakhanov Gairat Abdrakhmanovich, 79, dzhigit-beshchi for 1,000 households in Novopokrovka village, east of Bishkek

“I used to be 23 when my household and I moved to Kyrgyzstan, as a result of Uighurs in China had been handled badly. At first, residing right here was arduous, however with time we acquired comfy.

“It’s the ninth yr that I’m the dzhigit-beshchi right here. I watched the elders govern, and realized. At first, it’s troublesome. There’s plenty of issues to do, I’m chargeable for every thing: weddings, wakes, funerals, and lots of extra. If somebody dies, even when it’s 2am, folks name me. Typically, if a bride is kidnapped, I’ve to work quite a bit, as a result of it’s an enormous scandal. If the bride agrees, then I’m going to make peace. If not – it’s a court docket case.

“A dzhigit-beshchi needs to be truthful, sincere and make good on guarantees. You might want to take discover of who lives how, and who wants assist. It’s like being a father who cares about his youngsters, however it’s 1,000 households.

“Quickly I’ll be 80 years outdated. If I’m nonetheless alive, I’ll say once I determine to depart the submit.”

The official flag of the former East Turkestan Republic

The official flag of the previous East Turkestan Republic, which existed on the territory of the fashionable Xinjiang Uighur autonomous area from 1933 to 1949. For the reason that East Turkestan Republic was occupied by China in 1949 the flag has been forbidden on the territory of China, because it’s thought of to be an expression of separatism.

Kibirov Makhmudzhan Akhmetovich, 67, dzhigit-beshchi for 200 families in the Lower Tokoldosh.

Kibirov Makhmudzhan Akhmetovich, 67, dzhigit-beshchi for 200 households within the Decrease Tokoldosh, Bishkek

“Our household lived within the metropolis of Ghulja, China, however we needed to go away as a result of father participated within the Ghulja protests. It was arduous, however we’re glad we left, as a result of now every thing is far worse there.

“We had been among the many first ones to come back to Tokoldosh. I’ve lived right here for 64 years. Two years in the past, I turned the dzhigit-beshchi. Earlier than that I all the time refused, as a result of the job is accountable and thankless. There’s no wage, however plenty of work. If somebody dies, I’m the primary one folks come to, even when it’s 4am. And I’ve to be current, make calls, organise, make a grave.

“I used to be chosen as a result of I do know nearly everybody in Bishkek [the capital]. When a mahallah gathers, it’s needed to decide on a pacesetter. You may’t get by with out a chief in any tribe.

Velamov Erkin Ilakhunovich

Velamov Erkin Ilakhunovich, 67, dzhigit-beshchi for the 600 households in Lebedinovka village, on the outskirts of Bishkek

“I used to be 10 when our household crossed the Sino-Soviet border. There have been no detentions, no checks, the border was open on objective.

“Ever since then we’ve lived within the Lebedinovka village, Kyrgyzstan. Seven years in the past, I turned the dzhigit-beshchi. Life expertise helps me in determining find out how to discuss, and to whom. I don’t battle with anybody, and it appears no person fights with me. Even when somebody says one thing about me, I don’t fear. I’m doing my half, making an attempt to assist everybody.

“Now no person needs to be a dzhigit-beshchi, it’s simply extra issues. You may decline the place, however provided that the folks will allow you to, or if there’s a substitute. It needs to be ‘their particular person’, he has to know roughly who your father is, who your grandfather was, who was born from whom, and who married whom. I simply took on that weight, as a result of somebody needed to be doing this.”

Portrait of the second president of the East Turkestan Republic, Ehmetjan Qasim

Portrait of the second president of the East Turkestan Republic, Ehmetjan Qasim. There are two foremost variations concerning the deaths of members of his authorities. The official one is a aircraft crash on the japanese coast of Baikal. The opposite one is that the crash was staged after the delegates had been killed. However no documentary proof has been discovered.

Roziev Kaim

Roziev Kaim, 74, dzhigit-beshchi of Ala-Too state farm, Bishkek, the place 180 households stay

“In 1963, we had been allowed to depart China for the united states along with my brother, who had an ‘underground’ Soviet passport. Once we had been delivered to Karaganda [in Kazakhstan], we had been very upset. In China we lived and studied within the metropolis, however right here there are solely mountains, there are not any folks. At first it was very troublesome, however progressively we acquired used to it and moved to the town of Frunze [Bishkek’s name until 1991]. Since then, we have now been residing right here. Uighurs assist one another, we’re a small folks – we will’t abandon one another.

“I’m already outdated. If in two years there will likely be an appropriate candidate, I’ll step again. I may do it now, however the folks don’t let me. That’s why it’s arduous to decide on a dzhigit-beshchi, no person needs to be one.”

Mosque in Vostok

Mosque in Vostok, Bishkek. Subsequent to the mosque there’s a madrasa for boys the place 50 youngsters stay and examine. Behind the mosque there’s a gazebo that may accommodate 500 folks, the place native folks maintain occasions. In each Uighur space there’s a mosque. In huge settlements it’s the important thing place the place folks come collectively and essential information is introduced when males collect for prayer. Uighur tradition is carefully tied to faith.

Uzakov Abdujalil

Uzakov Abdujalil, 64, dzhigit-beshchi for 100 households in Vostok village

“I’ve been the dzhigit-beshchi for lower than a yr. I used to be the dzhigit-beshchi’s helper, however he left and I needed to change him. Somebody who doesn’t know the duties gained’t turn out to be a dzhigit-beshchi.

Within the Vostok village there’s plenty of nationalities, however for so long as I’ve lived right here, there have been no disagreements primarily based on that.

“If somebody moved, he all the time involves a dzhigit-beshchi, lets him know that now he lives right here and is able to take part within the lifetime of the group.

“There are difficulties, too, as a result of you possibly can’t please everybody. You need to care for your nerves, attempt to discover a strategy to get by means of to folks. Prefer it, don’t prefer it, somebody has to do it.”

Sadyrov Abdurauf

Sadyrov Abdurauf, 67, dzhigit-beshchi for 60 households in Malovodnoe village, Bishkek

“I’ve been the dzhigit-beshchi for 10 years. I’d already refused on a number of events, as a result of I don’t have the time, I get drained, however folks don’t let me go.

“After I turned the dzhigit-beshchi, one in every of our folks lived very poorly, a water pipe burst in his home and just one room remained intact. So the very first thing I did was calling the locals to come back, explaining the issue, and setting the duty. Everybody supported it, agreed to assist. With joint efforts we fastened the home.

“The primary accountability is to be the bridge for folks.

“The age doesn’t matter, what issues is that this particular person is revered within the settlement. I’m getting ready a younger man too, he’s a bit over 30. I needed to present him the place now, however have to attend till he’s prepared himself.”

This Qur’an is a family relic brought by Abdurauf’s father from China

This Qur’an is a household relic introduced by Abdurauf’s father from China when the household emigrated to Kyrgyzstan. ‘When [my father] acquired outdated, he was caught with an under-the-table Soviet passport. We got three days to pack and go away. He wrote a notice for me: “That is to my son Abdurauf, as a memento, for him to learn and train his youngsters to learn.”’

Musaev Erkin Karimovich

Musaev Erkin Karimovich, 61, dzhigit-beshchi for 250 households in Chatkul village, close to Bishkek

“I contemplate myself a patriot, I like to are inclined to the group lifetime of the village, in order that we’re not sitting on the sidelines. That’s why I used to be chosen. Chosen because the custom dictates, throughout a gathering, so I’m the true dzhigit-beshchi and never some impostor.

“Difficulties occur. Non secular youth talks about varied bans that aren’t a part of Islam. They are saying that music is haram [forbidden], birthdays not allowed, wakes not allowed, the best way our mother and father used to do issues isn’t proper. However we deal with them with understanding. As a result of if you happen to attempt to pressure anybody to share the identical opinion, there could also be a battle. Individuals gained’t perceive it the proper approach.”

The Uighur national men’s headdress is known as a doppa

The Uighur nationwide males’s headdress is named a doppa. By the form and sample of a doppa you possibly can perceive which Xinjiang metropolis the particular person is from, as a result of every has its personal embroidery method and design. Uighur males put on doppas to weddings, funerals, meshrep [gatherings] and holidays. In some circumstances a doppa is placed on the person after he’s chosen as dzhigit-beshchi. A global day of the doppa is well known on 5 Could by Uighurs residing in several nations.

Akhmullaev Abdikim Azizzhanovich, 66, dzhigit-beshchi for 1,300 households in Alamedi, on the northern outskirts of Bishkek

Akhmullaev Abdikim Azizzhanovich

“I’m the oldest resident of this neighbourhood. Everybody is aware of me right here, so two years in the past I used to be chosen for the function.

“After I turned the dzhigit-beshchi, the workload elevated. If there’s a marriage or a funeral within the mahallah, folks come for my recommendation – find out how to organise it, whom to ask. Apart from me there’s nobody on this space who may full the duties of the dzhigit-beshchi, no person wants it. We ask the youth, however they aren’t , they’re removed from Uighur traditions and aren’t as tightknit as our technology.”

Shayakhmyat Shamuhamedovich

Shayakhmyat Shamuhamedovich, 75, dzhigit-beshchi within the space round Aaly-Tokombaev Road in Bishkek

“We’ve plenty of nationalities residing right here, and I do know Uighur, Uzbek, Kyrgyz and Tatar, so I talk with everybody properly. Being a dzhigit-beshchi means understanding each household. If one thing occurs in one of many households, be it a feast, somebody’s demise, a necessity for one thing, or a battle, we resolve this contained in the mahallah, with our native residents. Everybody within the mahallah is aware of that I’m dzhigit-beshchi, is aware of the place I stay, has my cellphone quantity and I’ve theirs.

“If there is no such thing as a dzhigit-beshchi, all kinds of conditions can come up. Each nation has their traditions, and it’s needed to stay to them, or it’ll be a multitude.”

The dutar is the most popular Uighur musical instrument

The dutar is the most well-liked Uighur musical instrument. For Uighurs, music and songs have a particular half in on a regular basis life. All festive occasions are accompanied by nationwide dances and songs.

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