Friday Photo: Mao Selling Stuff

In 2005, on my second trip to the far western city of Kashgar, I spotted this odd sight in my hotel lobby. There he was, the Great Helmsman himself, sitting behind a counter of trinkets. I’m still not sure if he was for sale, or if the proprietor of the little hotel shop thought his placement there would attract customers. Either way, I had a good chuckle.

maoseller

More recently, he popped up in a field in Henan Province, where some local villagers decided to build a giant statue in the middle of a field.

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image from NPR

Is it just me, or does that statue look like it’s made out of butter? Perhaps it’s really being built for the Minnesota State Fair!

In the end, however, the statue got too much press worldwide and embarrassed the local officials, so they ordered it taken down.

As they say in China, “what a pity!”

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Friday Photo: Blue Doors of Kashgar

Ten years ago I had the privilege of making several trips to the city of Kashgar, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

I was captivated by these bright blue doors in an otherwise drab neighborhood. As I took the picture two veiled women strolled by. It was only later that I noticed one of them was carrying a big knife!

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I would not be able to take this photo today since the government has initiated an anti-terror campaign in Xinjiang whose measures include banning Muslim women from wearing veils.

You can read more about it in this excellent piece on the China File website: Why China is Banning Islamic Veils and Why It Won’t Work. 

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