Kuerbanjiang Saimaiti (库尔班江): “Sorry, Your Ethnic Group Can’t Use the Internet.”

Kuerbanjiang Saimaiti (库尔班江), 27,  is a student in the Communication University of China (Thanks to Sunny for the correct translation) and a photographer for the Chinese Central Television (CCTV).  He wrote the following post on his blog on Oct 3, translated by CDT:

Xinjiang People Are “Welcome” All Over the Country
Saturday, Oct. 3rd, 2009 
Yesterday was my first time to Shenyang city. And it was the first time I was so “warmly” welcomed by Shenyang people that I almost slept on the street last night. 

I was very tired after I had done my business yesterday and wanted to check in a hotel, yet I ended up finding no single hotel that would accommodate me after three hours searching. When I called a hotel in advance, they all claimed that they had vacant rooms. But when I showed up at the reception desk, all the hotel receptionists would say upfront that they didn’t receive anyone from Xinjiang. They would still reject me even after I showed all my IDs. I asked them who had set up the rule and they replied that it was the Public Security Bureau. It was so unfair! I had turned to many hotels and they all had the same reaction, as if I was a thief—there was no kindness at all. I was extremely disappointed by this city that had given me a good first impression. In the end, I asked them to call the police there, who photocopied my IDs many times, and even suspected that my ID was faked… After a long argument, they finally allowed me to check in. I tape recorded the conversation between the hotel and the police and was planning to post it here, but then realized that it’s unnecessary.  “Mutual understanding” was probably the only excuse I could find to comfort myself. Now that I can understand this incident, what if it had happened to someone else, would they understand this? What’s the benefit of doing this? How long is this going to last? It was good that I can speak Mandarin and could communicate with them. How about those people who just come out of Xinjiang for business or tourism? Do they have to sleep on the streets? Does the state government really have such a regulation? I think it’s because the way that the local government dealt with this is too superficial. 

I made myself calm down while lying on the bed for a while. I thought about it carefully and I actually think the attitude of those law enforcement officers in this particular period is understandable, but isn’t it worth reflecting on the acts of the local government targeting a certain group of people? I’ve encountered a funnier incident this morning. Because of work, I needed to reply to an email. And I found a net café and went to the reception desk. 

“I want to use the Internet. How much do I need to pay for the security deposit?” 
“10 RMB.” Answered the staff promptly without looking at me. 
I took out my ID and said to him, “Here you are.” 
“Sorry, your ethnic group can’t use the Internet.” 
“Why not?” 
“Because of the state regulation.” 
I had no choice but leave, with a smile. And it was the same reaction when I asked the second net café… 

Hours after this article was posted online, the phrase “Sorry, your ethnic group can’t use the Internet” became one of the hottest discussion topics in Chinese BBS and blogosphere, including overseas online forums. Many Chinese (Han) netizens expressed their sympathy to Kuerbanjiang and anger towards discriminatory measures he experienced. Three days later, Kuerbanjiang Saimaiti took this post off his blog and replaced it with a new post saying that he did not intend to have his post “used by people overseas” and “we are all a big family of the motherland.”

星期六, 十月 03, 2009

每日“库”图——— 新疆人全国各地“受欢迎”
作者 库尔班江 ( 纪实类 ) :: 点击 (156) :: 最新回复 (27)
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1982年出生于新疆和田市,维吾尔族 1999年开始从事摄影 现为中国传媒大学学生 中国摄影家协会会员 中国民俗摄影协会博学会士 新疆摄影家协会会员 曾多次在北京、平遥、新疆举办个人影展,作品多次获奖 2005年参与中央电视台纪录片《森林之歌》拍摄创作 2007年完成纪录片处女作《喀拉古塔格日记》 ,获得第二届全国大学生影像节最佳纪录片奖。“传媒影像力首都高校影像大赛”最佳纪录片奖。全国大学生DV有奖征集比赛纪实类三等奖 纪录片和个人影展在清华大学,人大,民族大学等6所高校进行巡回展映 接受《帕米尔》杂志及《人民日报》社人物专访

October 9, 2009 8:57 PM
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