“The gambling frenzy” – a wild passion – had seized many, from Mandarins to beggars. Itsometimes happened that people coming to the Mission hospital for help, when asked about their occupation, declared “gambler”。 The pawnbrokers often put up their tents next to the gambling-dens. “The gamblers pass one article of clothing after the other to the pawnbroker, in exchange for money which disappears just as quickly”。
“Gambling is rampant here in an incredible way”， says Mannerheim. There were gamblers at every street corner, in every backyard and by-lane. High Mandarins, ordinary people, prisoners in chains fastened to heavy iron bars or wooden beams, beggars in rags, all of them shared the passion of gambling, continues Mannerheim.
There were a number of explanations for the things the missionaries found unacceptable.And way the bad everyday habits among the people tended to affect the missionaries was partly due to the fact that they were foreigners. There was a innate distrust of foreigners.H?gberg writes, “A person coming from another town or place is forever looked upon as a stranger. How difficult must it not be for the Europeans?” However, the Muslims’ aversion towards the missionaries had its cause primarily in their faith. The missionaries were proselytizing intruders and could hardly expect any other reaction. Moreover there had to be a huge difference as to moral and legal issues between theses people from the East and the Swedish missionaries. Westerners with hundreds of years of Christian traditions to fall back on, and with a very special upbringing in the Swedish Free Church pietism on top of that met with people who knew nothing about Christian faith and ethics but had been strictly brought up in a totally different tradition. And yet, these people with their faults and sins were they not the very people the missionaries wanted to reach out to?
When confronted with people’s ignorance, and dishonesty, H?gberg was on the point of being discouraged, he used to say to himself, “Were everyone here good, noble and true, then I would not be needed here.” People’s everyday habits were in many cases not at all anti-missionary but they sprang from their living conditions. The British explorer F. E. Younghusband, who came to Kashgar towards the end of the l9th century, was of the opinion that this indolence and lack of initiative had to do with the society itself. People did not have to make special efforts in order to survive. They led quiet, even happy lives, which nothing could upset.Aurel Stein is of the same opinion. He says that people of Eastern Turkestan were often seen as indifferent, lacking initiative, but the main reason for these traits of character was perhaps the fact that the country was under-populated. There was no competition pushing people to try harder. And H?gberg points out that “the strivings and worrying how to make ends meet and to make progress, so obvious in other places, are totally absent here.”