Hong Kong is where the living are crowded, but the dead have to queue

Increasing population density and soaring land prices make Hong Kong people struggle to bury their loved ones. Many families have to wait 7...

Increasing population density and soaring land prices make Hong Kong people struggle to bury their loved ones. Many families have to wait 7 years to have a place to remain in the tomb.

The rocks lined up along the hillside, with some green spots of bushes interspersed between the wide gray cement area. These hills are home to thousands of deceased Hong Kong people. It was recorded in the set of Dead Space photos by photographer Finbarr Fallon, according to CNN.

His photos show long lines of small rectangular tombstones lined up in a straight line on the hillside. The scene behind is skyscrapers from the town. "I try to describe the connection between the living and the dead in my work," photographer Fallon said.

Mr. Fallon used drones to take aerial photos. This helps to show the full scale of the cemetery. "I really want to show the magnificence, beyond the scale of a building," the photographer interviewed by phone.

Mr. Fallon started working on this project after passing a cemetery in Wan Chai district, Hong Kong, during his vacation. Fascinated by the space of the living and the dead, he went to Hong Kong many more times to sketch what he called the "culture of death" of the city.

In England, Mr. Fallon's hometown, cemeteries are usually built on flat ground, with many trees and spacious, like the gardens are taken care of. In Hong Kong, however, the conditions for the dead reflect the reality of the living: cramped and crowded. With a population of 7.5 million people, Hong Kong is one of the areas with very high housing prices. People struggle to buy real estate for themselves and their children.

Private cemeteries currently list land prices of up to $ 36,000 / grave site. Hong Kong University associate professor Amy Chow, an expert on aging and death, said the number could be four times that there are still buyers. Tombs in public cemeteries may be cheaper, but there is practically no room here.

As a result, the vast majority of Hong Kong choose to cremate their dead relatives. But even so, they still struggled to get a place in the tomb. Thousands of families are still on the waiting list to have a space to place a relative's remains. The wait time could be up to 7 years, Ms. Chow said.

In Singapore, too, vacant land is becoming increasingly scarce, says photographer Fallon. Thousands of tombs have been excavated as the government built highways and new houses on old cemeteries. "I think it will be difficult for us to see cemeteries anymore due to the limited space of urban areas," Mr. Fallon said.

Scarcity of burial ground can be a threat to traditional beliefs and customs such as the Qingming Festival, the annual Chinese people's holiday, when people visit and visit ancestral graves. "A lot of Asian cultures have this ritual," Fallon said. "But in the future, I think many cities will have to receive drastic changes in rituals with the deceased."

These rituals are very important in East Asian cultures, especially for areas influenced by Confucianism. Confucian appreciation of filial piety, respect and care for parents.

"Finding a resting place for ancestors is a way of showing respect and filial piety," Associate Professor Chow said, adding that people would feel guilty and ashamed to find a suitable resting place. suitable for deceased relatives.

Ms. Phoenix

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High Tech Brain: Hong Kong is where the living are crowded, but the dead have to queue
Hong Kong is where the living are crowded, but the dead have to queue
High Tech Brain
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