From Uyghurs to Kashgari (and back?) - Migration and cross-border interactions between Xinjiang and Pakistan

Crossroads Asia Lecture by Alessandro Rippa at LMU

This paper addresses the hitherto unstudied case of the Uyghur community of Pakistan, the Kashgari, a group of migrants who left Xinjiang – China’s westernmost province – over the course of the last century. Based on four months of fieldwork in Pakistan, this paper aims principally at offering an overview over the history and the current situation of the Uyghur community of Pakistan. I thus first examine the migration of the Uyghur families to Pakistan according to several interviews with elder mem¬bers of the community. Secondly, I analyze some recent develop¬ments within the community, and focus particularly on the influence China is exercising over it since the creation of the Overseas Chinese Association in 2003. Eventually, I suggest that since the opening of the Karakoram Highway in 1982 a variety of factors – among which figures primarily this recent Chinese interest – have caused an important political divide within the community, and brought to a re-definition of the Kashgari’s identity vis-à-vis both Xinjiang and Pakistan.

Time and place: Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 6 pm, lecture hall 157

Institut für Ethnologie, LMU München, Oettingenstraße 67, 80538 München

Alessandro Rippa is doctoral student at the Dept. of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen. Currently, he is Crossroads Asia Fellow at the Institut für Ethnologie within the research network “Crossroads Asia”, funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

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