I am from Xinjiang but that doesn't mean I ride horses, it doesn't mean I eat qiegao, it also doesn't mean I am a thief or a terrorist. Listen to these young Xinjiang voices tell you what Xinjiang people are really like.
Even though we explain to others what Xinjiang is like, it is still hard to break down the image mainstream media creates of place like Urumqi. I can only do my best to tell you that Urumqi is not just grassland.
Stereotypes are dangerous, especially if they make up your entire understanding of something or someone. It is important to remember that everything and everyone is multifaceted. Just because one person does something a certain way doesn't mean everyone else does too.
Stereotypes of Xinjiang people don't only create confusion for the general population but also effect how Xinjiang people self-identify themselves.
How do we break down this ugly stereotype of Xinjiang? Both side need to openly communicate and work together to clear up misunderstandings. But where do we start? Start from yourself of course!