By Aqil Abdulla
In China’s propaganda videos, we can see Uyghurs dancing in the streets with Han Chinese people. Of course, these fake videos always emerge immediately after China faced great criticism from the world on its persecution of Uyghurs. To our surprise, whenever China feels pressure about the Uyghur issue, they always force a group of Uyghurs or Han Chinese dressing up in the cultural dress of Uyghurs, to dance. But why? Does it mean that Uyghurs cannot do anything meaningful except dancing? Is it because that the Chinese authorities think that Uyghurs only feel happy if they dance in the streets like primitive people? These questions will be followed other questions: did the overseas Uyghurs flee China because of freedom of dancing? And are they alleging to obtain the freedom deprived by China? Of course not! Uyghurs abroad fled China’s inhuman regime for they could not even breathe freely in their homeland and now are fighting to regain freedom of living as a human. Again, overseas Uyghurs are fighting for rescuing their family members who were arbitrarily detained for less severe violations like keeping Quran at home and saying Allah’s name in public or speaking in the Uyghur language at the office. They demand China stop arbitrary detention of Uyghurs, close the prison camps, stop forced labor, forced sterilization, and abortion, and end transferring Uyghurs to China in the name of poverty alleviation. Overall, the Uyghurs abroad are accusing the Chinese authorities of committing genocide against Uyghurs in Uyghuristan(East Turkistan) Since 2017.
So here is a question, to the propaganda videos of China, why does China force them to dance in the street? It may have many evil intentions. First, China forces Uyghurs to dance ‘happily’ in the streets like puppets to show Uyghurs to the world that there is no persecution of Uyghurs and they are living happily, and the aim of which is only easily achieved by dancing. Secondly, Chinese people have been treating Uyghur girls as dancing slaves throughout their history and Uyghurs dancing in the propaganda videos are no exception. Next, unlike singing, Uyghur dancing as nonverbal communication has nothing to do with Uyghur language and religion, which have been banned in official schools, so the Chinese government feels free to force Uyghurs to dance at any time. After that, the Chinese authorities have long been trying to promote a stereotypical image of Uyghurs as a dancing ethnic group, as a result, Chinese people think that Uyghurs are only good at dancing. Last but not least, they force Uyghur girls to dance to welcome Chinese immigrants or tourists for it is easier for them to perform an impromptu dance and the propaganda videos are part of it.
In reality, Uyghur people have not been detained for dancing on the streets, but for praying in the mosques, reading Quran in the homes, fasting in Ramadan, and traveling around the world. So, if China wants to make the world believe that Uyghurs are living happily, they should make some other fake videos regarding Uyghurs practicing religious and cultural activities ‘happily’ and ‘freely’.
The opinions of the authors do not represent the official views of the voice of Uyghur