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Four Oddities in Xinjiang

The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is located in China's northwest. With a total 166 square kilometers, Xinjiang is the biggest among all the provinces and regions and accounts for one-sixth of China's total land area. Xinjiang also has many ethnic groups. The weather here is dry and there is a great disparity in temperatures between night and day. All of these factors contribute to the distinct culture and customs of Xinjiang.

1. Wearing fur-lined jackets in the morning and gauzes in the afternoon. The weather in Xinjiang is very fickle and there are great extremes in temperatures between the morning and the afternoon. People usually wear fur-lined jackets to keep out the cold in the morning, but since the temperature often jumps significantly in the afternoon, locals usually have to dress down to keep cool.
2. Enjoying watermelon around a burning stove. Local people usually make a fire in the cold evenings and, strangely enough, they often enjoy watermelon around the fire. Even in cold winters, Uygurs will treat themselves to some watermelon from the cellar after dinner.

3. Zhuafan literally means Grab Food -- a famous Uygur delicacy, traditionally eaten with the hands instead of chopsticks. The dish contains rice, mutton, yellow radish, onion and vegetable oil as the raw materials. With these nourishing components, not only is the nutrition value of the dish enriched, but it is also very delicious.

10月20日,一名维吾尔族妇女展示用废旧物品制作的“新疆手抓饭”模型。当日,在新疆哈密市回城乡举办的“变废为宝”展览中,一组用废旧物品制作的“新疆菜肴”展品惟妙惟肖,吸引了众多观众的眼球。 新华社发(普拉提 摄)

4. Dongbula: a kind of stringed instrument cherished by all locals that can be seen almost everywhere in Xinjiang. The sound box, which can be either flat or gourd-shaped, is made of wood. The neck is long and slender. The instrument contains two strings, with a four- or five-octave musical scale. Someone who can produce extemporaneous songs while playing the dongbula is called aken, which means a wandering minstrel. Melodies are divided into singing and speaking types, and the rhythm is a mixture of beats