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Traditional Uygur Maqam thriving

05-20-2010 18:43 BJT

It is a local custom in Markit county of Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region that people usually hold welcoming ceremonies when locals returns from outside with good news. Mike Patterson brings you a closer look at the welcome for people who won prizes at the Youth Singing Competition in Beijing.

Hundreds of local residents gathered at the village entrance to greet their heroes.

Uygur Maqam artist Hasan Yahya, said, "I am over 70 years old, and have been singing the traditional Xinjiang Uygur Maqam for my whole life. My students and I won prizes at the Youth Singing Competition, and I am very excited. I will try to teach more students in my life."

Markit county is the hometown of both singers and the Xinjiang Uygur Maqam.

The artists practice at the local traditional culture performing hall. 800 thousand yuan was invested in it by the local government.

Hasan Yahya is a folk artist there, the local government offered him a 500 yuan monthly subsidy as well as 5,000 yuan to renovate his houses as a reward for his special dedication. Some schools have even opened a new major in Xinjiang Uygur Maqam which Hasan Yahya will help teach.

Abdykerim, Head of Markit County, said, "We have subsidized more than 20 million yuan to support the traditional Maqam despite the financial difficulties. We now have more than 500 Maqam artists, and more than 380 successors."

The traditional Xinjiang Uygur Maqam is thriving with many more people taking up the art.

At Urumqi People's Theatre, the largest-ever shows on traditional culture in Xinjiang are being put on. More than 50 art troupes from Xinjiang are participating.

Organizers say they want to make more people aware of Xinjiang's traditional culture heritage.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CCTV.com

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