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Yax lizard

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亚克蜥 (yǎkèxī): yax lizard

Poster for a Uyghur performance entitled “Yaxshi.”
Yax lizard.

The Yax Lizard was dubbed “the first mythical creature of 2010,” joining the grass-mud horse and the river crab in the Mahler Gobi.

“Yaxshi” (ياخشى‎) means “good” in the Uyghur language and is transliterated into Mandarin 亚克西 yǎkèxī. The Uyghurs are a majority Muslim Turkic people and the titular nationality of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China’s far west.

The yax lizard rose to fame in the CCTV 2010 Spring Festival Gala, “The Party’s Policies are Yaxshi,” featured dancers adorned in traditional Uyghur dress praising the Communist Party, a great irony in light of the inter-ethnic riots in Xinjiang the summer before. Han Chinese migrants to Xinjiang are often better able to find work and prosper in the region, leading to tension and sometimes violence.

Before it rose to stardom, the yax lizard appeared earlier in other propaganda, such as this music video, where even “Xinjiang’s oil is yaxshi!”

Minitrue: Uyghur Youth Killed by Police in Aksu

14 April 2014, by josh rudolph

Kobe University Uyghur Scholar Vanishes in China

25 March 2014, by Natalie Ornell

From Pakistan, Uyghur Separatist Vows Revenge on China

18 March 2014, by josh rudolph

After Crimea, Hu Xijin Says “Truth Follows Power”

17 March 2014, by josh rudolph

Minitrue: Crimea Votes to Join Russia

17 March 2014, by Anne Henochowicz

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