Archive for September 22nd, 2013

Out West (yet again)

Whatever the prejudices you might harbor against Urumqi Internet connections in second rate hotels, they’re probably over-generous. I’ve been effectively de-twitterized by sheer technological crappitude rather than anything more sinister, but this channel seems to be (barely) OK. (Annoyingly, they provide a computer in the room, which locks everything into chronic dysfunction.) So apologies for the deteriorated state of communications over the next few days.

The main objective of this trip is to explore Xinjiang’s Buddhist heritage, which is so vast and rich that even some superficial scratching should turn up some interesting stuff. The main current of Buddhist influence into China passed this way, hybridizing wildly with other cultures in one of the world’s great mixing zones. After arriving off the steps, the Uyghurs were Buddhist for centuries, before Islam got a grip around the turning point of the first millennium (I’ll try to fill in some dates with greater precision later on). 

Updates as events, energy, and time permit.

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September 22, 2013admin 2 Comments »
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