Uighur weddings similar to Anatolian traditions
URUMQI, Xinjiang - Anatolia News Agency
Just like in Turkey, the wedding season begins in spring in Turfan. One of the first weddings was that of Mercan and Yusuf Ahmed, who are living in the outskirts of the city. AA photosWeddings celebrated in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, where there is a dense population of Uyghur Turks, are no different from traditional Anatolian weddings. A group of Turkish journalists who visited Urumqi at the invitation of the Chinese Foreign Ministry gave talks in the region, which is famous for water channels known as “karez” (resource) in the Uyghur language.
The city of Turfan is located in the northern part of the historic Silk Road and is known as the second deepest valley after the Dead Sea and one of the hottest settlement places in the world.
Vineyards watered by karez water channels are the vital point of the region’s economy. Grape farming provides a living for 70 percent of the city’s population. In their agricultural activities, they use the water of melting ice from the Tengri Mountains.
A museum in the region introduces karez channels to visitors. The museum explains that karez channels were built to prevent the evaporation of water in the desert between the Tengri Mountains and Turfan city, and start 100 meters under ground. The channels come to the surface before reaching the city. The museum also shows that the 5,000-kilometer-long water channels surround the city like a spider’s web. Projects have continued in the region since the 1960s in order to prevent water channels from drying up.
Sparse water resources and the desert climate also affect the architecture in the region. The Emin Mosque, one of the oldest structures on the Silk Road, reflects the architectural features of the region the best.
The mosque, built by local artisans with local materials, attracts attention with its 44-meter minaret with a circular dome that tapers at the top.
Just like in Turkey, wedding season begins in spring in Turfan, which is home to many Uyghur Turks. One of the first weddings was the wedding of Mercan and Yusuf Ahmed, who are living in the outskirts of the city. In Uyghur village weddings, the bride is prepared in a “bride room” arranged in a place close to her father’s home with the help of her friends. The groom, with his groomsman, knocks on the door of the bride’s room, but the door is not opened immediately. The bride’s friends open the door in return for a certain amount of money or a promise and let the groom sit next to the bride.
The groom, groomsman and their friends perform dances in the room to the music of local musicians and later on prayers will begin.
Following the prayer session, performed by a family elder, a friend of the bride changes her shoes and veil and gives them to the groom. Then the groom takes the bride to her family’s home.
The bride says goodbye to her family members and leaves the house crying to go to the groom’s house.