Patriarchal language and proverb in Kashgar, Central Asia

The Uyghurs are a Turkic people in Xinjiang, which has been ruled (and now severely oppressed) by China for centuries. They converted to Islam after Arab invasions of western Central Asia spread the religion.

"Among Uyghurs it was thought that God designed women to endure hardship and work, the word for "helpless one", ʿājiza, was used to call women who were not married while women who were married were called mazlūm among Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, however, divorce and remarriage was facile [easy] for the women. The modern Uyghur dialect in Turfan uses the Arabic word for oppressed, maẓlum, to refer to "married old woman" and pronounce it as mäzim.

"Woman were normally referred to as "oppressed person" (mazlum-kishi), 13 or 12 years old was the age of marriage for women in Khotan, Yarkand, and Kashgar. Robert Barkley Shaw wrote that * Mazlúm, lit. "oppressed one," is used in Káshghar, &c., instead of the word woman." A woman's robe was referred to as mazlúm-cha chappan.

Uyghur sayings on women:

Firewood serves for winter, a wife serves for her husband's pleasure. (Qişniŋ rahiti oton, ärniŋ rahiti xoton.)

Woman is the slave of the house. (Xotun kişi tüt tamniñ quli.)

Allah is God for a woman, the husband is half God. (Ayalniñ pütün xudasi XUDA, yärim Xudasi är.)

The first wife is a good woman, the second a witch, and the third a prostitute. (birgä täkkän yaxši, ikkigä täkkän baxši, üčkä täkkän paxši.)

A family with many women will be miserable. (Qizi barniñ därdi bar.)

Let your daughter marry or you will die of regret instead of illness. (Qiziñ Öyde ärsiz uzaq turmiğay, ölärsän puşaymanda sän ağirmay.)

Woman: long hair, short wit. (Xotun xäqniñ çaçi uzun, ä qli qisqa.)

A woman without a husband is like a horse without a halter. (Ärsiz xotun, yugänsiz baytal.)

Men rely on life, a wife relies on her husband. (Är jeni bilän, xişri äri bilän.)  11/28/15

Kashgar is a Silk Road trading city at the western end of the Tarim Basin, part of now Chinese-ruled Xinjiang, to the east of Kyrgyzstan.

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