Uyghur, also spelled Uygur, Uighur or Uigur

Chinese: 维吾尔族

Uyghur: ئۇيغۇر

Meet the Uyghur

Swirling patterns, strumming music, scents of melded spices and steaming naan bread…

Uyghur celebrations are an assault on your senses and an inspiration to your heart.


Uyghurs number between 10 and 15 million in China.


Most Uyghurs live in Xinjiang province, northwest China. Small groups also live in cities throughout China.

Outside China, Uyghur communities can be found in central Asia and in the Middle East.


Uyghur is related to Turkish and is written in Arabic script.

Many Uyghurs are not fluent in Mandarin Chinese, the national language of China. This can make it difficult for them to find good jobs.


Today’s Uyghurs are most likely descended from several different Turkic groups who lived in parts of Central Asia, Xinjiang and Mongolia.

Uyghur people followed a mixture of religions, including Christianity and Buddhism, until they gradually converted to Islam between the 14th and 17th Centuries.


Traditionally, Uyghurs have been farmers and traders.

They are skillful entrepreneurs, and often prefer to set up their own small businesses rather than work for others.

Many Uyghurs who speak good Chinese work in civil service.


Uyghur culture is rich with vibrant traditions.

Music, dancing, rich literature, food and hospitality are all integral parts of Uyghur culture.

Uyghurs place a high premium on relationships, especially with family and friends.

Nan bread


Uyghurs are committed to their Islamic customs and to their family. Many Uyghur people live in still-developing rural areas, which makes finding a good job difficult.

The Uyghur language, cultural and religious festivals, and even daily habits are different from the majority Han Chinese people. It is a challenge for the two communities to understand each other.

News & Stories from the Silk Road

“My Cup Overflows” – Psalm 23:5

In the book of Isaiah, heaven is described as “a feast of rich food for all peoples” (25:6). Some cultures do their very best to recreate this extravagant hospitality on earth. You Prepare a Table for Me “Boldi, boldi,” Amangul says impatiently to her mom. I look at Amangul blankly. When she’s with her mother, [...]

Through the Darkest Valley – Psalm 23:4

Pain and heartache arrive in most of our lives at some point. May God be our hope for the future in the face of trauma and broken relationships. How much longer? My sister is crying again. She hardly makes a sound. There’s just the silent shaking of bony shoulders, and tears rolling down a pale [...]

“In Green Pastures” – Psalm 23:2

Wherever we live, our lives are punctuated by rhythms of work, and of rest. But, even if our bodies are resting, our souls may still be burdened by many worries. Rest Time “回来咯” Mr Ma calls out, “I’m back.” Only silence answers. The room is strewn with dishes and toys. An abandoned bowl of rice [...]

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

This Ramadan, we have asked different friends to share short reflections with us, all on our theme of Psalm 23. This is a very special moment in history, when the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our lives and shaking our confidence. What does God have to say to us through this Psalm for our lives, right here, [...]

Start typing and press Enter to search