Photographer's Note

This picture was shot in Sanying, a village you pass through if you want to visit the ancient buddhist grottoes of Xumi Shan in southern Ningxia.

These two elderly Hui men were sitting chatting outside a small shop near the bus stop. They wear old-style Chinese suits, the kind you rarely see in the more fancy places up east.


The Hui people (Chinese: 回族) are a predominantly Muslim ethnic group in China. Hui people are found throughout the country, though they are concentrated mainly in the Northwestern provinces and the Central Plain. The autonomous Muslim region of Ningxia, just below Mongolia, is regarded as their home province.

According to a 2011 census, China is home to approximately 10.5 million Hui people. They are ethnically and linguistically similar to Han Chinese with the exception that they practice Islam.


Islam in China has existed through 1,400 years of continuous interaction with Chinese society. Its roots go way back to the early days of the Silk Road traders.

There are Muslims living in every region of China. A 2009 study done by the Pew Research Center concluded there are 21,667,000 Muslims in China, accounting for 1.6% of the total population.

Of China's 55 officially recognized minority peoples, ten groups are predominantly Muslim.

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3045 W: 35 N: 6706] (34742)
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