The Uyghur-language Spring Festival song and dance spectacular “New Xinjiang, New Melody” is back!
After a five-year absence following the disasters of the Year of the Ox, the Xinjiang Ministry of Culture, in association with the Bureau of Public Relations, welcomed in the Year of the Horse with a star-studded line-up of all the usual Uyghur superstars. Headlined by Abdulla (53:25) and supported by Möminjan (51:45), Six City (42:32), Ablajan (22:59), Berna (15:55) and a host of others, the event was intended to introduce a “brand-new Xinjiang style” to the nation. The multicultural event even featured a Han singer, Wang Jian (39:19), singing a famous song from Kumul in Uyghur (the second night was sung in Mandarin and the write-up for the concert boasts of Hui, Kazakh, Kirgiz and Mongol involvement in the performances). Perhaps the most moving moment came with the great Ekber Qehrimin singing “Oasis Poplar” (Tёrek Bostan) (26:37) – a heartbreaking classic from the golden age of the 1980s.
Here’s to a year in Xinjiang where moments of happiness like these come often.
Beige Wind runs the website The Art of Life in Chinese Central Asia, which attempts to recognize and create dialogue around the ways minority people create a durable existence, and, in turn, how these voices from the margins implicate all of us in simultaneously distinctive and connected ways.