Paradise Found In An All-Muslim Village In Yunnan

by bria4123 on October 15, 2012


I had seen the mosque gleaming over the town from the distant rice fields around Yunnan’s Erhai Lake. After walking uphill through the town, it was time to explore its crowning jewel.

On the surface, the tallest building could have been transplanted from Iran. But I ventured through its door and found Paradise on Earth.

I was now in the courtyard and in front of a traditional Chinese hall.

So buildings from two great civilizations faced each other. The Chinese building was a hall–similar to but smaller than the prayer halls I saw in Xi’an’s Great Mosque and Beijing’s Cow Street Mosque last year.

The screens at its entrance were Chinese in style, and I loved its soft earthy colors. But–


The writings over the door are mainly Islamic, in a script that flows as beautifully as Chinese landscape paintings. Their luminous gold over the neutral colors in the screen makes them seem to come from heavenly realms. The letters inside the right star state God’s greatness–they declare, like revelations.

Flowing Arabic writings and Chinese landscapes grace the sides of walls.

An earlier post on Islamic art in China describes how the flowing art forms from both cultures both blend and contrast.

So what crowned the hill was a model for our globalized world–great cultures’ art and ideas blend so that traditions from each land express and enhance each other.

These blends extended from the mosque and radiated throughout the village–they graced the gates and outer walls of homes.

Right under the noses of the government officials who seemed to want to keep this village hidden from visitors to Erhai Lake is a great model of the world  to teach to children–many lands shining on each other like stars. If more people realize this, the world can be as great as any dreams of Heaven have been.

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