Some spell it “Uyghur,” others spell it “Uighur,” some do a little of both. All spellings lead to the same basic pronunciation — “wee-gar” — and the same several thousand year history of the same fiercely independent people. Most Uighurs live in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region” in Northwestern China, which Uighurs who are eager for political independence from China refer to as “East Turkestan.” Over the last few years the movement for an independent East Turkestan has received international press due to increasingly intense clashes between the Uighurs and the Chinese government. The Chinese government has sought international support for its controversial effort to stop the Uighur separatists and refers to them as “terrorists.” Of course the Uyghur people are more than a political independence movement; Uighur culture is as ancient and rich as Uyghur history. In music class we largely dispense with the politics and enjoy some images, music and language from Western China. 

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