Month: April 2015

Uyghur Women & Memetjan Semet’s film “Dad, I Love You”

A few weeks ago when talking to a Uyghur acquaintance he told me: “One the biggest problems among Uyghurs today is the rate of divorce. I think it is as high as 70 percent. Most of it is the fault of women. They have misunderstood what women’s equality is all about. They think that it means that they should be equal to men in every way; or that men should be just like them. They try to control men, stop them from going to bars. They order men to do housework, and then spend all of their money. They don’t understand that that is not their place. If they would be encouraging to men, than men would never cheat on them.” When I mentioned this conversation to the filmmaker Memetjan Semet he said: ““That’s not true. The main reason people get divorced is because of men. Many men don’t understand just how difficult and stressful women’s work can be. They have to take care of the household, cook, clean and take care of their children. …

The Future Of Uyghur Tradition In “Rahime,” A Short Film By Mukaddas Mijit

In the short film Rahime, the Uyghur ethnomusicologist and filmmaker Mukaddas Mijit portrays a moment in the life of her grandmother. When she was coming up with the theme for the short film, Mukaddas was feeling dismayed by the many events happening in the world around her. Since she herself was born in an Islamic culture, she felt it her obligation to frame that world in a way to give voice to the humanity and wisdom of that world. She felt that her 88 year-old grandmother could do this by drawing out the richness of her knowledge of Sufi mysticism. Mukaddas writes: “During my fieldwork on Sufi music in Xinjiang, I had a chance to encounter some extraordinary men and women. They taught me profound values about my culture and history. They are the ones who encouraged me to be open, tolerant and humble (even if it’s very hard and challenging).” It was with this in mind that she decided to put together a short film in which her grandmother communicates some of this call toward openness and …