Xinjiang: Cultural collision and integration |
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Xinjiang: Cultural collision and integration

facebook twitter linkedin | Updated: Jun 12, 2024

Lim Kanghoon [South Korea]

Beijing Foreign Studies University

Xinjiang, a region inhabited by multiple ethnic groups, boasts a unique culture and history. My visit to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum deeply impressed upon me the cultural diversity here. The museum displays a variety of artifacts from ancient times to the present, ranging from Uyghur handicrafts to relics of the ancient Silk Road, each telling a story of exchange and integration.

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At the Xinjiang Cultural Tourism Digital Expo Center, I experienced historical scenes recreated through augmented and virtual reality technologies. These technologies seemed to transport me back in time, allowing me to personally experience Xinjiang's culture and history. The exhibition on the Silk Road of Xinjiang not only showcased the region's important position in ancient times but also vividly depicted its rich culture and arts. The various ancient ornaments in the expo center also left a deep impression on me. Although South Korea is far in Northeast Asia, the artifacts I saw in the museum made me realize that people's lifestyles and aesthetic views were similar a long time ago.

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In the Silk Road Museum, ancient silks, porcelains, and other trade goods illustrated the cultural exchange and influence between the East and West, which deepened my understanding of how cultural collisions can lead to innovation and development. Through these exhibitions, I gained a greater appreciation for cultural diversity and a deeper understanding of the exchanges and integration between different cultures.

At a restaurant in Urumqi, Xinjiang, I savored delicious local cuisine while watching a traditional dance performance. The combination of fine food and dance enhanced my study trip with extraordinary experiences, giving me a deeper sense of the unique charm of Xinjiang's culture. This dining and viewing experience allowed me to appreciate Xinjiang's ethnic arts more vividly, as this cultural presentation collided with my own cultural background, bringing new understanding and appreciation.

These experiences not only enriched my knowledge and emotions but also led me to reflect more deeply on my cultural background and identity. Through this journey, I became more convinced that cultural integration should not be seen as a conflict but as an opportunity for mutual learning and growth.

The Awe of Natural Scenery

Xinjiang's natural scenery is renowned for its spectacular views. Walking through the Little Green Valley Park and the Ancient Ecological Park, I was stunned by the mountains, lakes, and vast grasslands. Standing before these natural wonders, I felt a profound reverence and respect for nature. Xinjiang's nature is more than just a landscape; it is a force that purifies the soul.

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The natural beauty of Xinjiang paints an unparalleled picture. During my journey to the "Six Pavilions and One Heart," I was fortunate to witness the rolling Tianshan Mountains, their peaks covered with glistening snow, creating a stunning and mysterious vista. Below the Tianshan Mountains, the expansive grasslands with herds of cattle and sheep resembled a moving pastoral song. These scenes were not only visually pleasing but also provided comfort to the human spirit.

At the Xinjiang Ancient Ecological Park, I delved deeper into Xinjiang's nature and wildlife. The park was brimming with life, protecting various rare plants and animals. The park's Akhal-Teke horse base was particularly striking, famous for its precious and beautiful horses galloping freely across the grasslands. This direct contact with nature underscored the importance of ecological protection and the irreplaceability of nature.

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Furthermore, a stroll through the Little Green Valley Park in Urumqi allowed me to closely observe the vegetation and ecological environment of Xinjiang. The park, with its shady trees and babbling brooks, brought a touch of coolness to a hot summer day. Such natural landscapes not only beautify the urban environment but also remind us of the importance of maintaining ecological balance amid rapid modern development.

Through these profound experiences of natural scenery, I gained a more comprehensive understanding of Xinjiang's natural environment and its role in the global ecosystem. Each journey into nature was a purification of the soul, filling me with awe and admiration for the mysteries and beauty of the natural world. These experiences reminded me that despite living in a world where technology is increasingly advanced, the power and beauty of nature are something that technology cannot replicate.

Interpersonal Communication and Friendship

During this trip, I met many people from different backgrounds, including local students and residents. At a meeting at Xinjiang University, I engaged in deep discussions with local students about culture and education. We not only shared our learning and life experiences but also established profound friendships through these exchanges. These interactions enhanced our understanding and respect for each other.

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At a restaurant in Urumqi, I enjoyed delicious local cuisine and watched a traditional dance performance. The combination of exquisite food and dance added an extraordinary dimension to my study trip, deepening my appreciation for the unique charm of Xinjiang's culture. This dining and performance experience allowed me to perceive Xinjiang's ethnic arts more vividly, and this cultural presentation collided with my own cultural background, bringing new insights and appreciation.

A particularly memorable experience was interacting with two enthusiastic high school students from Xinjiang. During my time in Xinjiang, they not only shared their daily life and school experiences but also patiently taught me how to say some basic everyday phrases in Uyghur. Learning the language not only gave me a basic understanding of Uyghur but also deepened the friendship between me and the students.

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The unforgettable moments spent with these new friends, such as discussing issues and participating in activities together, taught me the deep value of interpersonal interactions. These experiences not only deepened our understanding of each other but also made me cherish the importance of cross-cultural friendships even more. Our group photos are a beautiful testament to this friendship, displaying team spirit and the bridge between cultures.

These experiences remind me of the importance of establishing sincere relationships, both in academic exchanges and in everyday life. These relationships not only enriched my travel experiences but also brought new perspectives and profound impacts to my life and studies. This deep interpersonal engagement and cultural exchange are key to understanding and respecting multiculturalism and are important for personal growth and social harmony.

The above content is provided by Beijing Foreign Studies University and only represents the author's views, not the stance of China Daily website.