Ethnic Minorities in China and Their Cultures – Tajik (Tajike) Minority of Western China

Posted: April 15, 2012 in History, International, Language, Politics, Region

Tashkurgan Town is surrounded by high mountain ridges on 3 sides, the fourth side faces the western most expanses of the Taklamakan desert.

Tashkurgan County measures 25,000 some Square-kilometers, including the second highest mountain in the World, the Mount Qogir or K2 with a top of 8611 meters. Other Mountains average 6 kilometers in height. The two main rivers in the Valley are the Taxkorgan River and the Tiznap (or Tiznef) River.

Average temperature in Tashkurgan County is 3.3 degrees Celcius.

Asia Report – Map of Karakoram Highway / China-Pakistan Mountain Highway

Due to their isolation in one small area underneath the highest mountains and most dangerous passes in the World (the Karakoram Highway, for instance, was opened al late as in 1978 AD), the Tajiks in China (P.R.C.) are said to be culturally and linguistically distinct from their ethnic kin across the border in Tajikistan. The Tajik of Xinjiang for generations have lived in the Pamir Mountains and Highlands of far western China where altitudes lie at over 3000 meters above sea level. Here they grazed their herds, making a semi-nomadic life of animal razing and herding, combined with small scale farming.  Animals kept are mainly cows, yaks, sheep, camels and mules. Crops are highland barley, peas, wheat and others that may withstand the harsh high mountain climates. Today’s lifestyle continues in traditional ways but includes local transport and tourism.

The 35.000 to 45.000 Tajiks in West China are ethnically related to the more than 2 million Tajiks in Tajikistan.

via Ethnic Minorities in China and Their Cultures – Tajik (Tajike) Minority of Western China.

 

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