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Meet Tursen Nurhaly: the herdsman providing ancestral orthopedics in Xinjiang

By Wang Songsong| chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: December 28, 2023


A patient (left) gifts a silk banner to Tursen Nurhaly (right), a 63-year-old bone-setting craftsman in Akkabak village, Changji Hui autonomous prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, to express gratitude for his treatment. [Photo provided to seexinjiang.cm]

In Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, an Uzbek bone-setting craftsman helps local people with ancestral orthopedics free of charge.

Tursen Nurhaly, a 63-year-old herdsman living in Akkabak village, Danangou township, Changji Hui autonomous prefecture, learned Uzbek joint resetting techniques from the older generation when he was 16. After eight years of study, he began treating local people.

In the winter of 2006, an older woman named Rsjan Shartk fell from a horse when she was herding, resulting in bone misalignment. Initially, her injuries didn't seem severe, so she didn't feel the need to visit the hospital quickly. However, her nerves and muscles were going into necrosis.

Upon learning about this matter, Tursen visited her home for treatment. After 45 consecutive days of treatment, the injury was effectively relieved, and she could move freely.

Yan Hailian, Party secretary of the Danangou township, said there are seven ethnic groups in the area, and minority ethnic groups account for over 90 percent of the population.

"As long as they need my treatment, I will do my best regardless of the ethnic group. All 56 ethnic groups in our country are like one big family, and we should help each other," said Tursen.

Over the past three decades, Tursen has treated more than 3000 patients with fractures and bone wounds. Silk banners cover the walls of his home. They are gifts from people of different ethnic groups to express gratitude for his help.

Apart from bone realignment, Tursen often assists people desperate for money, especially the elderly. When people borrow money from him, Tursen never demands a promissory note or asks them to repay by a specific deadline. Instead, he tells them, "Whenever you have the money, you can repay me."

In 2019, Tursen was honored with the title of national exemplary individual for ethnic unity and progress. Two years later, he was also invited as a representative of ethnic minorities to attend the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China in Beijing.

"My son Hosman Tursen has mastered the technique. He will carry on my work and continue to help more local people," Tursen added.