Eurasian Crossroads, an extremely readable history of Xinjiang by James Millward of Georgetown University, discusses the ‘Kentuckization’ of Xinjiang.
Perhaps it is necessary to take a step back. The most prominent American fast food chain in China is KFC. It should be noted that KFC tastes better here than in the States. I have heard (and in fact have passed on this account to others) that there has been some adapting of the flavors for the Chinese palate. Regardless, KFC is very tasty here.
The Uighurs of Xinjiang and Urumqi understand that when cultures come together clashes can outnumber new and interesting fusions. As I said below, Urumqi is in the middle of Xinjiang but feels like a Han foothold in Central Asia. It feels that way because that is what it is. Globalization gets a bad rap. Homogenization has costs, especially in places like Xinjiang. But let’s not blame it on KFC.
[This post brought to you in part because “Kentuckization” brought zero results on google. Kentuckyzation also is not available on the internet as google sees it. Kentuckyization exists, once, here.]
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