Salamat Kari (L) Photo: Zhu Xiaolei

Three internet celebrities from northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region spoke to international reporters from nine countries about tourism, heritage conservation and rituals of ethnic groups in Xinjiang at a video meeting on Friday.

In Kashi, a local inn called “House of Guli” has recently become an internet hit because of its ethnic decoration. Many tourists come to Kashi to visit and enjoy a cup of tea. Salamat Kari, who runs the inn, participated in the online activity on Friday and showed her house to international reporters.

Salamat told reporters how she developed her inn by expanding its services from dance shows to selling souvenirs to lodging.

“There are 15 local people working in my inn and most of them are women. Besides making money, we can also help tourists learn more about our culture, which is what I’m most proud of, ”said Salamat.

Ayituna Ablikim. Photo: Zhu Xiaolei

Hotan’s Ayituna Ablikim told international reporters how she used short videos to record her daily life and share them with internet users.

“The life of a village girl in Xinjiang caught the attention of Internet users, and I am happy too,” said Ayituna. “But in August 2020 I found that a video I had recorded of my mother sewing a dress was being used by Western media saying she had been ‘forced to work’.”

“I am very sad and shocked to see that my video is so distorted. I have published more than 300 videos online and each one shows that we are living happy lives. I don’t know why the foreign media want to call us “victims”, ”said Ayituna.

Zaituna Karimova.  Photo: Zhu Xiaolei

Zaituna Karimova. Photo: Zhu Xiaolei

Zaituna Karimova, a 56-year-old woman from the Tatar ethnic group in Tacheng, showed reporters her garden and items that her family has kept from ancient times. She also showed traditional snacks and invited international friends to visit her house.

A total of 15 reporters from nine countries including Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Turkey and Kazakhstan participated in the online activity on “Seeing the Real Xinjiang Online”, which was one of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization 20th anniversary events.