My friend Abdu (walking from Beijing to Bad Nenndorf) decided to take me out to see some of the city’s most famous sights today.
One of those sights, and a very important place for Muslims in China, is the tomb of Gess Anzari Kaziyallahu:
Remember I told you about the tomb of Wuaisi (overlooked & unexpected) near Jiayuguan before? I said that there were 3 early Muslims in China, right? Well it appears that they in fact personally knew the Prophet Mohammed and came to China together as missionaries in the early 7th century. One of them was Wuaisi, and another one was this Gess Anzari Kaziyallahu who was buried here.
We visited the interior of the mausoleum, but I wasn’t allowed to enter all the way:
What’s interesting is the fact that the original mausoleum used to be in Xingxingxia (where’s my spray paint?), but got demolished during the war and then relocated to the city of Hami, where it’s been resting since 1945:
After this, we went to another mausoleum, only this one was much bigger:
The tombs of the Hami Uyghur Royal family:
Yes, royal. I had never been aware of the fact that there used to be an original Uyghur kingdom from 1697 up until the year 1930 in this region. The princes apparently worked closely together with the Qing-dynasty in Beijing, and helped them secure political stability in this region. At least that’s what the tourist guide told us.
The architecture of this place was intriguingly…
…in its beauty.
We both wandered around enjoying the fun of photography:
And we even found a hole in the ground where they apparently used to bake the royal nang:
Oh, I want me some of that nang too!
You wanna know something? I think Germans are the undisputed kings of bread – but that nang-thing is really pretty good as well!
We also visited what is now left of the city’s ancient wall:
It was kind of sad to see an imposingly large structure like this slowly falling apart though.
Even though it is now Ramadan and he wasn’t allowed to eat anything, Abdu still insisted on taking me out to try some Uyghur delicacies:
And I gotta say: this was also very good! There was yogurt… walnut cookies… home-made ice-cream… nut cake…
Good stuff, and I was feeling pretty bad for munching through all that stuff while my friend could only stay hungry until the evening!
Later we went to an Uyghur supermarket, an interesting place as well.
Everything in there was halal, and some of the products seemed like they were actually imported from Turkey:
I’m not sure about this particular chocolate candy bar here, but the writing on it looked pretty Turkish to me.
Also, I noticed the Uyghur are very proud of their hereditary ties to the Turks. Their languages apparently also have some similarities, and sometimes I can even make out some words when they speak. Like, they would call me something like: “germania”, or they would use words like “computer”, and “kilometer”.
I wanted to try some of the Turkish vocabulary I thought I had brilliantly mastered before. So I repeatedly exclaimed “döner!”, “merhaba!”, and “arkadaş!”, somehow hoping to be able to bridge a gap from here to the Bosporus.
But they couldn’t understand me.