Carpet Factory Blues

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Among other attractions (it is famous all over China for its white jade), Hetian, a small city in remote Xinjiang province, also makes carpets. I visited the factory where the workers get about 15 renminbi (about two dollars and change) an hour. It takes them about two months to make a medium-sized carpet. It’s hard, eye destroying (see the lady peering at the design at the end of the clip), backbreaking work. “Prison work,” as my local guide remarked. No kids at least, tho this was a government sanctioned factory so that would be unlikely. Makes you think twice or three times about buying a carpet, though. I didn’t, though the price tag (a couple of thousand dollars for that same medium-sized offering) might have had a role in that decision.