Xinjiang scholars often come across an ordinary Uyghur (Kurban Tulum) and his donkey after the Chinese Communist takeover of Xinjiang. The “Uncle Kurban” and, especially, his handshake with Chairman Mao is often highlighted as the symbol of Uyghurs’ love of the CCP. I quote the concise content of the Uncle Kurban story (with minor modification) from http://www.centralasiatraveler.com/cn/xj/ky/kurban-tulum.html in case that some people may not have a chance to look at“[Kurban Tulum — whom the Chinese call Uncle Kurban or Uncle Kuerban (库尔班大叔 kù ěr bān dà shū) — was a Uyghur electrician, born in 1883 in the Keriya oasis in what is now Yutian county in northwest China. When the People’s Liberation Army marched into Xinjiang, a few years after the 1949 revolution, Kurban Tulum was so hopeful, after the deep difficulties under the corrupt Republican officials and the regional warlords that had held sway in Xinjiang, he wanted to express his gratitude. He rode more than 1,500 km around the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang to the provincial capital of Urumqi on his donkey (or donkey cart) to bring grapes/raisins (or, in other versions, a melon) — symbolic of the agricultural wealth of this large desert river oasis — as a symbol of appreciation for Chairman Mao.
The propaganda and the slogan have began to portray Uncle Kuran as the model of ethnic unity of patriotism. Although it is unclear when this kind of propaganda initiated (probably since 1990s?), it seems for sure that Kuran becomes a symbol of Uyghur patriotism. Had Kurban lived today in Xinjiang, he must have toured to every corner of Xinjiang to teach the Uyghurs about patriotism.
Uncle Kurban is sacrificed as symbol of patriotism: Political representation of Uncle Kurban in modern XinjiangPosted: 2011年02月2日 in Original Thoughts