Most people don’t realize that huge amounts of Muslims in western China. In fact, a third of the city I live in, if not more, is Chinese Muslim and has been for a very long time. In just this province alone it’s suggested that there are over 800,000 Chinese Muslims. Last friday alone 50,000+ worshippers showed up at the main mosque in town for prayers. Truly there is an amazing and diverse culture here that many people in the world, even in China, don’t even realize exists.
Living around Chinese Muslim culture, I’m continually reminded that these are great people and quite the opposite of what they are portrayed as in western Media. Ramadan’s purpose is to teach the worshipper about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God – not entirely scary things, right? They are amazing people and as always it’s an important time to remember our commonality as humans and for cultural outsiders to actively practice respect, whether we are participating in Ramadan our not.
I was sad when I realized I wasn’t going to be here this year for the end of Ramadan called Eid. Eid is truly and amazing event in western China – it’s reported that anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 muslims show up for the breaking of Ramadan – making it the largest gathering of muslims anywhere outside of the middle east (see images here). I think it’s important as a photographer, but mostly as a person, to try and understand parts of this culture. Hate is often based on ignorance – ignorance makes us bad photographers, or worse, hateful people.
This year I thought it would be nice to go a bit deeper and visit many of the mosques the dot the city I live in. In a sense, I knew I was going to miss Eid (here) so I did my shooting early in an effort to further my understanding of this amazing culture.
The chinese Muslim culture is extremely rich as you can see from the image above. Chinese and Arabic together – simply amazing.
Hope you enjoy this months wallpaper!