One of these days when I stash away enough money to travel and do it BIG I’m going to do a tour of countries that have some of my favorite gem stones and jewelry. While I don’t own a large collection of stones or jewelry, I do try to pick up at least one piece every time I travel abroad. My future list includes the Baltics for Amber, Dominican Republic for Larimar and Hotan, a city in southern Xinjiang, China, for Jade. Hotan was once the major transport center of the southern route of the Silk Road.
Uyghur (pronounced ooygOOr) is spoken in China and Kazakhstan, but is the official language of China’s Xinjiang province. It is a language spoken by some 10 million people in all of Central Asia. China’s Uyghur people are one of the 56 official nationalities in the country. Start at the Wikipedia first and work your way to this Uyghur music and dance songs online page. New Uyghur films are also available for purchase if you like to learn by listening and watching. Try linking up with Uyghur speakers through MyLanguageExchange online. Lonely Planet’s Central Asia phrasebook has a decent Uyghur section worth purchasing the book for if going to this area of the Silk Road.