London Uyghur Ensemble

Uyghurche ئۇيغۇرچە
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About the UK Uyghurs

Uyghur numbers in the UK are small compared to communities in other countries in Europe and in the USA. Compared, too, to other immigrant groups in the UK, the Uyghurs are a tiny minority, among the smallest groups in the country. Uyghurs came here in larger numbers beginning in 2000, some coming as students from the Uyghur region, some as refugees, both from the Uyghur region and from Central Asia, especially Kyrgyzstan.

There are currently some 200 Uyghurs living in the UK, the majority in London with small numbers scattered around the country, in Manchester, Durham and Newcastle. In London, Uyghurs congregate in two areas: in the Turkish heartland around Haringey, and (mainly the Kyrgyzstan Uyghurs) in east London. Some Uyghurs who came here as students have found good jobs, and some make a living through small business, but many have found it hard to get by. Many of those (mainly men) who came as refugees in the 1990s waited for years to get their claims settled. In recent years the community has become more settled, with wives and families coming to join the men, and many children have been born in the UK in the last few years.

The small numbers, and pressures of refugee life, mean that attempts to set up social and political support networks for the community have been patchy. Occasional events are held, to celebrate the Nowruz or Qurban festivals, bringing the community together for food and music.

Here is Uyghur language news about UK Uyghurs on the BBC Uzbek Uyghur site >>


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