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In Hong Kong, Even the Dead Wait in Line

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In Hong Kong, Even the Dead Wait in Line Empty In Hong Kong, Even the Dead Wait in Line

Post  iberlingirl Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:50 am

Could you imagine living/dying like this?

LINK HERE

In Hong Kong, it can be hard just finding somewhere to sit down. In the fourth most densely populated place in the world, park benches are packed and strangers share tables at restaurants. But for the 40,000 people who die here every year, it turns out there's no respite from the crowds, even in the afterlife. While a land shortage forced Hong Kongers to give up on burials long ago only 11% of bodies were buried in 2007 the city has also run out of space for cremated ashes. By some estimates, that means roughly 50,000 families must store their relatives' remains in funeral homes and offices while they wait often for years to secure a 1-sq.-ft. resting place.

Much more in article...
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In Hong Kong, Even the Dead Wait in Line Empty Re: In Hong Kong, Even the Dead Wait in Line

Post  floridafun Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:59 am

looks to me like they have options but their beliefs about ghosts get in the way..so i dont have any sympathy. santa


And though the vast majority of people choose cremation, having a formal memorial to visit on holidays like the yearly Grave-Sweeping Festival remains a crucial part of Hong Kong culture. The government has proposed the construction of more columbaria, but local resistance has led district councils to reject the plans. Neighbors worry that proximity to columbaria will bring them bad luck, increase traffic on ancestral worship holidays, and drive down home values. "We Chinese call a place for the dead yum chaak, and a place for the living yeung chaak. They cannot be mixed or else the ghosts will go into the houses," says Kenneth Leung, who runs a funeral-planning company in Hong Kong. "Nobody wants cemeteries or columbaria near their homes, but everybody needs them."

The alternatives offered by the government have failed to take pressure off the system. There are eight public "gardens of remembrance," where ashes can be buried in a public garden, but families have been slow to warm to this idea. Two years ago, the government announced that cremated ashes could be scattered at sea, but longstanding superstitions have led few to opt for this space-saving solution. Last year, only 243 people's ashes were cast into the sea. Many frown on the idea of a body being separated and ingested by fish, and most families still want a physical place to visit. "My husband didn't say much," says Oi, 75, while waiting in line with her son at Diamond Hill last week. "But he did say that he didn't want a sea burial. The old generation won't agree with this."
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