This week in music class we venture to Western China where we pay a visit to the currently controversial Uighurs.
— OVERVIEW: Some spell it “Uyghur,” others spell it “Uighur,” some do a little of both. All spellings lead to the same pronunciation — “wee-gar” — and the same several thousand year history of the same fiercely independent people . . .
— MUSIC: As one may imagine from learning about Uighur history, Uighur music is a nuanced mix of Central Asian, Chinese and many other influences . . .
— LANGUAGE: Uyghur is a Turkic language spoken by about 10 million people in Central Asia, 9 million of whom live in Xinjiang . . .
— IMAGES: Most of the images in the Flickr “Uighur” slideshow are portraits of Uighur people. Many are of Uighur men with amazing beards . . .
— WHEN YOU GO THERE: LonelyPlanet.com describes Xinjiang as being “woefully unappreciated” as a Chinese tourist destination.