Sini script in Taipei

While in Taipei this past week I ended up at the Islamic Cemetery (回教公墓, المقبرة الاسلامية) near Liuzhangli Station. It’s one of many cemeteries that wrap around the mountain, any one of which could easily take up a full day of wandering around, inspecting inscriptions. There was an interesting mix of Chinese and Islamic cemetery aesthetic. And rather than swamp RSS feed subscribers with a bunch of pictures, here’s a link to a Google+ photo album with a dozen shots of the area.

The most interesting thing was the use of Sini script on a number of the inscriptions, such as that in the photo above. We’ve talked about Sini a little here before. To recap, it’s a form of Arabic calligraphy unique to China’s Muslim ethnic minorities. And without having actually done a lot of research on this particular cemetery, most of the signs pointed to the graves belonging to members of the Hui minority, or rather what would be called Hui in today’s PRC; Many stones had Arabic names that didn’t phonetically match the Chinese names, and a lot of the Chinese family names were 馬, a name common among Hui, originally chosen as a phonetic approximation for earlier generations’ Arabic names.

At any rate, it was nice to see the regular use of Sini, as well as being a good reminder of the wide range of people who came to Taiwan as the Communists took power.

Check the album for more photos.

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