Sungei Road

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Godmakers - The Artisans and the Effigies (Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop)

The story of Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop is the story of the reality and issues facing many traditional trades in Singapore :- remaining relevant and of course profitable; succession and continuity; and finally of adaptation and yet keeping to tradition. I am lucky to have joined this tour by Ng Tze Yong to witness firsthand, the two artisans maintaining the craftsmanship of being "Godmakers", his father, Ng Yeow Hua, (64 years old ) and his grandmother, Madam Tan Chwee Lian (87 years old). 

Effigy and who it represents

There are many effigies in the shop in various phases of construction and it can be a confusing sight especially if you are not a Taoist or Buddhist and do not have background of the stories of the Gods or Deities it represent. I draw parallel experience to the beautiful and intricate stone carvings that i often see in Bukit Brown Cemetery that i still often struggle in identifying. In the case of the effigies, i am fortunate to have Tze Yong, who brought this stories to live in a manner that is very easy to understand and educated us to also look out key things such as the posture of the effigy, the clothing, the various tools such as weapons added on and creatures that are carved and added on together with the effigy as part of the recognition process.

Nezha (哪吒)
Nezha was a son of a military commander, Li Jing and at birth came out as a ball of flesh. When cut opened, Nezha came out as full grown boy with ability to speak, walk and possessed great powers. Nezha got into trouble after killing the 3rd son of the Sea Dragon King who then threaten to flood humankind. Nezha realising what he did, selflessly committed suicide by carving out his skin and flesh and removing his bones and returning it to his parents. After his death, Nezha visited his mother in spirit who granted his wish of building a temple so that his soul may find comfort. The temple grew in reputation of one that is able to grant miracle cures. However his father found out and set the temple ablaze. Nezha was who was angered by this, resurrected and equipped with Wind Fire Wheels  (風火輪) and Fire-tipped Spear  (火尖槍), battled his father. It was only after celestial intervention that they finally reconciled.

The effigy of Nezha can be represented in its child-like form or the form where it is ready for battle. It is often seen with Wind Fire Wheels, Fire-tipped Spear and in the picture below you can see it battling a Sea Dragon. Nezha is seen to be like a Patron Deity for Drivers and also Gamblers. The story of Nezha can also be found on the tomb panels in Bukit Brown, the example below from the tomb of Mr and Mrs. Lim Peng Chin.

Nezha 

Nezha fighting his father, Li Jing on a Bukit Brown tomb panel 


Xuanwu (玄武 ) 
Xuanwu (玄武 ), also known as the Dark Warrior was said to be butcher who had killed many animals without flinching an eye. As the years went, he felt a huge remorse and decided to give up this profession. One day, he assisted a woman in labor and later washed the blood stains in a nearby river. He felt that to really cleanse himself of his sins, he dug out his stomach and intestines and washed them in the river. In the process he lost both. The Jade Emperor was moved by Xuanwu sincerity and made him an immortal. This was not the end of the story, the stomach and intestines that was lost in the river turned into a demonic turtle and demonic snake and started causing chaos in the world and it was only Xuanwu that eventually subdued them and used them as his means of transport. Hence, you will often see Xuanwu seated with barefeet on a turtle and snake. Xuanwu is often seen as the Patron Deity for Martial Arts.

Xuanwu 

Guan Yu (关羽) / Guan Gong (Lord Guan 关公)
Portrayed as having a red face, he was said to be fugitive on constant run until the day he joined a militia that was formed to bring unity and stability to a China facing turmoil and power mongering. That militia was formed by Liu Bei. Later, Guan Yu, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei become sworn brothers and their bond of loyalty was stuff of legends often featured in the various media popularly known as "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Guan Yu is known as the God of Literature and God of War. However this is not to be mistaken to be in the same context of Ares or Mars. In fact Guan Gong involvement in this case is for justice and not those who fight for blood lust. That been said, he is often seen as the Patron Deity in Hong Kong Police stations as well as for the Triads in Hong Kong. Guan Gong is also the Patron Deity for Traders, to scare away evil spirits.

In Bukit Brown, the panel of Teo Chin Chay's tomb shows the story of a Guan Yu, being treated after being wounded by a poison arrow. While the physician was scrapping the poison of from the flesh and bone, Guan Yu is seen to be calmly playing Chinese Chess to distract himself from the pain without any local anesthetic.

Guan Yu (关羽) / Guan Gong (Lord Guan 关公) 

Guan Yu been treated by a physician after being struck by a poison arrow.

Monkey God / Sun Wukong 
There are many stories on this mythological monkey who came to possessed a weapon such as an 8,000 kg rod that can be shrink to the size of a needle and whose great fighting skills include those that allows himself to be cloned using his hair, transform into other beings and to travel great distances by doing somersault. His power and quest for recognition as a powerful God led to many battles against the Jade Emperor and the heavenly army. The rebellion against the Heavens was finally "squashed" literally with the intervention of Buddha trapping Monkey God under a mountain which became his prison for 500 years.

Guanyin (观音 ) in search of a bodyguard to protect a monk (Tang Seng) whose mission is to make a Journey to the West to retrieve Buddhist sutras. Long story short, Monkey King did a good job in overcoming all the tribulations that came their way and thus eventually atoning for his sins and was freed.

In Chua Soon Leong's tomb in Greater Bukit Brown, the Journey of the West panel portrays this story.

Effigies of Monkey King /Sun Wukang 

Journey to the West stone panel of Chua Soon Leong's tomb 


From wood to Gods 


"Godmakers" - The Artisans 

The story of the Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop is not just the story about the effigy of deities and Gods been meticulously carved, threaded and painted. It is the story of the early Singapore Chinese Pioneers who settled in Singapore and grew roots as well. The story of artisans such as Madam Tan Chwee Lian and his son, Ng Yeow Hua was also kindly shared and that made the tour experience much more personal and we got more intimate with them and their aspirations for their future.


Photo of the Ng family
Madam Tan Chwee Lian, 87 years of age went about her work calmly despite the fuss going about her shop and camera lenses and camera shutter sounds intruding into her workspace. She seemed initially shy, but so wrong was i as after warming up to us, she shared with us not only the work she does but also proudly showed to us some of effigies she hand crafted or threaded herself. Her's is a story of a hardworking woman, like many during her generation, bringing up a family of 7 children, ensuring that they received a proper education and with the resources and skill she had sew the clothes that you seem them wearing. It is a story of love and loyalty to her husband and lifelong partner too, learning from ground zero the skills needed to support the family business as well.

There was never a sense of pressure to force any of their children to take over their business, however her eldest son, Ng Yeow Hua (64 years old) now is the main artisan for the business.


Wedding picture of Madam Tan Chwee Lian 70 years ago


Ng Yeow Hua at work 


Ng siblings and grandson, Ng Tze Chong  


Family photos of the Ng artisans at work

The Future for Say Tian Hng? 

Is there a future for such a traditional craft in Singapore and will there be the next generation of Ng artisans to continue the business? I wish i have an answer but personally it is going to be huge challenge. That been said, i sense hope and more importantly this hope is acted upon via the public tours organised by Ng Tze Yong and supported 100% by his family. I also sense his urgency and drive to share, educate and preserve this intangible cultural heritage. Tze Yong has taken very important steps to open the doors to strangers to peek into their personal life's. He has plans to invite interested artisans from other disciplines to step up and learn the skills that are kept in the family business for many generations and to evolve it to make it relevant for future generations to come. Maybe there is also another potential business model in this too.

See previous article: Godmakers-Where Gods are born (Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop).


Contact 

Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop
35 Neil Road Singapore 088821
Mr, Ng Yeow Hua
Tel: 62211042  Handphone: 96607357

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Godmakers - Where Gods are born ( Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop)

The tagline of the facebook invite "Where Gods are born" was what attracted me to read more. It was an opportunity to visit an effigy shop in Singapore, which was probably the oldest and last surviving one in Singapore, Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop at No. 35 Neil Road. I signed up immediately as i never actually seen how deities were actually made. When the day of the tour arrived, we were greeted at the shop by Mr. Ng Tze Yong, a young gentleman and son of the current owner of the shop, Ng Yeow Hua. Ng Tze Yong does not operate the shop, but nevertheless was not only an eloquent speaker and spokesperson, he speaks with great passion on keeping the traditions of his family trade alive and relevant in today's changing world. The two people that are the artisans of this shop are that of his father, Ng Yeow Hua, (64 years old ) and his grandmother, Madam Tan Chwee Lian (87 years old) who have maintained the necessary skills to run the business till this very day.

Our guide and spokesperson for the family of Ng Artisans, Ng Tze Yong. 


History of Say Tian Hng

The origins of the effigy shop that we see today in 35 Neil Road Singapore can be traced back to 1897 with the arrival of two brothers from Kinmen. One of the brother stay in Singapore and set up shop at 19 Club Street that was called "Say Tian Kok" while the second went to Thailand to venture into a puppetry troupe. When the brother in Singapore passed away without a successor, the brother from Thailand came to Singapore to continue the business. After the death of the brother, the Club street shop was managed by one of his son, Ng Yew Kian (not to sure if i got the name correct) while another shop named "Say Tian Hng" was opened at No. 6 Genmill Lane, operated by another son, Ng Tian Sang. With government redevelopment of both Club Street and Genmill Lane in the late 1980's, the shops were acquired under the land acquisition act. The shop that was Genmill Lane  moved to No 35 Neil Road, where Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop operates till today.

Former shop at No 6 Genmill Lane. 

Ng Tian Sang at No 6 Genmill Lane
 (source: National Archives, Singapore)

Ng Yew Kian of Say Tian Kok at 19 Club Street
(source: National Archives Singapore) 

35 Neil Road (Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop) 

Today's visit, i learned that the effigies of the deities are still made in-house and the material used are Camphor wood (which is lighter and easier to carve especially for the finer details such as hands and fingers ) and in other cases, Teak wood. (a hard wood) From the block of wood, the tracing works and finally carving will take place, done by the artisan after consulting the almanac on the right "auspicious" day to start.

Ng Tze Yong showing us the Teak (left) Camphor(right) wood

Artisan carving on the block of wood
(source: National Archives of Singapore) 

After the carving process is completed, the delicate process of "threading" takes place and beautiful intricate designs of dragons and other symbolic motifs (examples of prosperity, authority) are threaded by hand using dough (in the past this dough would have been made from the of ashes of joss sticks (in the past). This was for the past 70 years done by Madam Tan Chwee Lian, the matriarch of the Ng artisans. At 87 years of age, Madam Tan makes fast work of the spreading of the dough to fine strips using a marble stone and a wooden paddle (the same one she has been using since she started learning the trade after marrying into the family. Although she claims her eyesight is not as good as it was, you can see the she is very much an expert artisan who takes pride in her work and her eyes brighten up when we complimented her of her art pieces.

Madam Tan Chwee Lian with steady hands, threading the dough so that it
sticks to the surface of the wood to form the motifs. 


Madam Tan focusing on the threading. In front of her is the
marble stone and wooden paddle she uses 

A sprightly Madam Tan Chwee Lian warming up to us !

The owner of the shop, Ng Yeow Hua goes about quickly and quietly with his works but he is paying close attention to the talk taking place in his shop and answers quickly whenever his son, Tze Yong ask for any clarifications. He was busy painting the effigy and after the crowd as left, switched off the fan and started peeling gold paper to paste on the effigy. This gold paper cost roughly $1 per small piece and requires skillful handling to peel it without the ends sticking to each other. The gold paper are purchased from Thailand.

Mr. Ng Yeow Hua painting the effigy 


Effigy of Fa Zhu Gong being painted 


Sticking the gold paper on the effigy 

The birth of a Deity

Once completed, the effigy is still an effigy. The consecration ritual takes place only after a Taoist Priest or a Tang-kee ( a spiritual medium) blesses the effigy thus turning it to a deity. The process usually involves taking the blood from the cockscomb (or crest) of a white hen and dabbing it onto the eyes, ears and limbs of the effigy.  The white hen symbolises purity, blood, live and the cockscomb, supremacy.

Godmakers - the artisans and who the effigy represents

Ng Tze Yong was a very eloquent story teller, sharing with us the stories about what deities the effigy represents that are made in the shop. He gave personal insights about his family especially the stories about his grandmother bringing up the family and supporting the business at the same time. This were stories that inspired me and are indeed stories of the early pioneers of modern Singapore that made Singapore successful and prosperous. Finally, Tze Yong shared with me his aspirations on sharing this cultural heritage beyond the family itself. The effigies are indeed intangible cultural heritage and artisans such as Madam Tan Chwee Lian and Ng Yeow Hua, living cultural assets that skills need to be documented and their skills and knowledge passed on to the next generation of artisans.

I admire Tze Yong for working hard to make this craft that is perceived to be dying in Singapore by firstly sharing it through such talks and coming up with plans to inject new life into it and even transforming it by incorporating it to modern artworks. The artisans need not be effigy markers of Taoist and Buddhist statutes but could also be modern wood sculptures incorporating this age old traditional methods used by the Ng family. I hope his ideas work and take shape. To me that will be something that his parents, grandparents, his great grandparents can be proud of !

In my next article i will share more about my experience  and photos from today's talk, which includes the artisans themselves and the deities that the effigy represents.

Ng family and today's visitors 

Contact 

Say Tian Hng Buddha Shop
35 Neil Road Singapore 088821
Mr, Ng Yeow Hua
Tel: 62211042  Handphone: 96607357

References 

Singapore-Image Carver. (Photographs).National Archives of Singapore
Singapore-Shop. (Photographs).National Archives of Singapore
"Can survive, la" : cottage industries in high-rise Singapore / Margaret Sullivan ; photographs Henry Wong, Michael Neo.




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tan Geok Lim (Bukit Brown)

Tan Geok Lim was an employee of the Raffles Hotel. He passed away at the age of 46 on 5th October 1937 at his residence in 41 Onan Road, leaving behind his beloved mother, wife and 5 children. Listed on Tan Geok Lim's tomb are the name of the 5 children; sons: Tan Eng Khoon, Tan Eng Chuan, Tan Eng Swee ; daughters; Tan Kim Neo and Tan Chwee Neo. Tan Geok Lim is buried in Hill 4 Section B, plot 282.



Raffles Hotel Staff

This is a first finding, well at least for me , of a person buried in Bukit Brown who was a staff of the Raffles Hotel and this is further confirmed in a 1921 newspaper article, where it list the donors by the Raffles Hotel staff for Princess Mary Wedding. On the list of Raffles staff list is not only Tan Geok Lim, but also Arshak Sarkies (1868- 9 January 1931), the proprietor of Raffles Hotel at that time. The Sarkies brothers ( Martin, Tigran, Aviet and Arshak) were well known hoteliers that owned and ran many hotels,  including the Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Penang and Seaview Hotel and Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

Arshak Sarkies was for 40 years, a proprietor of hotels and he was 62 years old when he passed away in Penang on 9 January 1931 after a long spell of poor health. He is survived by a widow and 3 daughters. In the same year, Sarkies Brothers Company went into receivership and its hotel eventually sold.

1922 article (source: NewspaperSG) 

Raffles Hotel
(source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya)

Raffles Hotel and dinning room view
(source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya)

Sarkies Brothers - Arshak, Aviet and Tigran
(source: Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya)


Arshak Sarkies (source: NewspaperSG)


Family


Daughter: Tan Kim Neo
Tan Kim Neo (eldest daughter of Mrs Tan Geok Lim and the late Mr. Tan Geok Lim ) got engaged to Freddie Seow Poh Seng (eldest son of Mr & Mrs. Seow Soon Kee ) in October 1954.


References

Princess Mary's Wedding. (1922, February 15).The Straits Times, page 9
Domestic Occurrences. (1937, October 6). Malaya Tribune, page 10
Advertisement. (1954, October 24). The Straits Times, page 24
Wright, Arnold, and Henry Adolphus Cartwright, eds. Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources. Lloyd's Greater Britain publishing Company, limited, 1908. pages 941-942


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lee Kim Bock (Bukit Brown)

Lee Kim Bock passed away at the age of 60 on 26th November 1938 at his residence at No 4 Lorong 27 Geylang. The newspaper mentions he was a prominent figure in the Straits Chinese Community from a well known family in Singapore and Malacca. He is buried in Hill 4 Section C, plot 1253

Lee Kim Bock was a general building contractor and is survived by his wife ; Madam Quek Koon Neo ( Nya Chik ) and 3 sons ; Lee Yew Bin, Lee Cheng Tian and Lee Hood Poh.



Family


Lee Yew Bin /Francis Lee Yew Bin 
Francis Lee Yew Bin (eldest son of Mr and Mrs Lee Kim Bock ) got engaged to Miss Tan Eng Neo (only daughter of the late Mr. Tan Boon Chwee and Madam Chua Geok Yan).  The marriage took place in November 1936.  He was a vice-president of the Sincere Lads Badminton Party. However, in an 1941 article, the was an court summons that allege that Tan Eng Neo was of unsound mind and the court requested Lew Yew Bin, her husband to appear in court.






References
Domestic Occurences. (1938, November, 29). Malaya Tribune, page 5
Death of Prominent Singapore Chinese. (1938, November 30). Morning Tribune, page 3
Advertisement. (1941, April 9). Malaya Tribune, page 10

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Neo Siew Hin (Bukit Brown)

In Block 3 Division C, plot 92 lies a damaged marble tomb of Mr. Neo Siew Hin. He was a retired special grade hospital assistant of the F.M.S (Federated Malaya States) Medical Department, when he passed away the age of 70 on  August 14, 1940. Neo Siew Hin is survived by his wife, 4 sons and 4 daughters. The article mentions that one of his sons, Mr. Neo Hong Kow is attached to the Negeri Sembilan Medical  Department. This name corresponds with the marble stone that indicates the name of Neo Siew Hin's sons : Neo Hong Kow, Neo Hong Guan, Neo Hong Chuan and Neo Hong Huay.



Son: Neo Hong Kow
Neo Hong Kow as mention earlier is attached to the Negeri Sembilan Medical Department. He is also a well known badminton player there. Neo Hong Kow, in an article was engaged to Miss Chuah Hock Eng.

Son: Neo Hong Huay / George Neo Hong Way
In another article that was an engagement notice of George Neo Hong Way (4th son of Mrs. Neo Siew Hin and the late Neo Siew Hin) to Miss Chew Geok Oon, (second daughter of Mr and Mrs Chew Soo Seng of Kuala Lumpur).


References 

The Week in Negri Sembilan. (1937, April 4). The Straits Times, page 18
Neo Siew Hin. (1940, August 18). The Straits Times, page 5
Advertisement. (1941, October 10). Malayan Tribune, page 11

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Tan Toon Cheng and family (Bukit Brown)

This simple marble tomb in Hill 3 Block D, plot 472 is the tomb of Tan Toon Cheng or in most newspaper articles, Dr. Tan Toon Cheng. He passed away on 30th April 1935 at the age of 47. Listed on the tomb are his sons: Tan Kok Soon, Tan Kok Ann and daughters;  Tan Swee Chin, Tan Swee Tian, Tan Swee Lian, Tan Swee Kiang.

Tan Toon Cheng (who is the son of Tan Joo Guan ) studied in Raffles Institution. In January 1911, Tan Toon Cheng was one of the medical student of the Straits and F.M.S. Government Medical School that passed the final examinations and received the diploma that entitles him to practice medicine. Dr. Tan Toon Cheng married Miss L. G. Ei (niece of Dr. Lim Boon Keng ) in 1911.


The King Edward VII College of Medicine Alumni and Singapore Medical Practioners paid tribute to the late Dr. Tan Toon Cheng during their respective meetings in 1935.

Son: Tan Kok Soon 
Mr. Tan Kok Soon (eldest son of the Mrs. Tan Toon Seng and the late Dr. Tan Toon Cheng) to Miss Chee Kiong Lee (daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chee Guan Chiang and grand daughter of Mr. and Mrs Chee Swee Cheng). The ceremony took place at 119 Heeren Road, Malacca in 1938. Mr. Chee Swee Cheng is a prominent Malacca resident having directorship in many business including Atlas Ice Company and Overseas Chinese Banking Cooperation.

Tan Kok Soon passed away on 25 August 1996 and is survived by his wife Chee Keong Lee, son: Dr. Tan Choon Kim, daughter-in-law; Elsie Ong Lei Tin, grandson: Dr. Colin Tan Boon Chwee. Also listed are her sisters: Annie Tan, Lucy Tan , a brother-in-law, George Song and sister-in-law: Chyrisse Yap.  Madam Chee Keong Lee passed away on 23 December 2005 at the age of 90.



Daughter: Tan Swee Chin
Miss Tan Swee Chin (eldest daughter of the late Dr. Tan Toon Cheng and grandniece of Dr. Lim Boon Keng, O.B.E. ) engaged to Mr. Chua Biow Liat (only son of Mr. and Mrs. Chua Lip Kok and nephew of Mrs. Tan Chay Yan) in 1935. The marriage will take place in Singapore on December 21, 1935.


References

Straits and F.M.S. Medical School.(1911, January 4). The Straits Times, page 8
Social and Personal. (1911, July 25). The Straits Times, page 6
Malacca Engagement. (1935, November 15). The Straits Times, page 5
Malacca Marriage. (1938, July 17). The Straits Times, page 3



Sunday, April 02, 2017

Qing Ming in Bukit Brown (2017)

Qing Ming is an affirmation of the importance of Bukit Brown as a space of cultural heritage where the traditional practices of filial piety and recollection of family stories and bonds are again renewed. What is for sure, Bukit Brown was never an abandoned cemetery. It is very much alive in its heritage, and nature. My blog post covers some of the families who have kindly allowed me into their lives momentarily to document the love for their ancestors and in my conversations with this families, they strongly feel that Bukit Brown should be left the way it is for many years to come because of its historical and cultural significance.

Stories from the descendants

The first are the Tang brothers, who came to pay their loving respect to their maternal grandmother. What caught my attention was the flower petals strewn across the tomb as well as the lovely paper cheongsam dress prepared beautifully waiting to be "dispatched" to their grandma. I thank the Tang brothers for allowing me to take photos that i am sharing with you below.

A busy day in Bukit Brown 

Paying respects to ancestors during Qing Ming at Bukit Brown
Paying respects to their grandmother


Paying respects to ancestors during Qing Ming at Bukit Brown
Lighting cigarettes for their grandmother

Paying respects to ancestors during Qing Ming at Bukit Brown
A sent of  money and clothing


Paying respects to ancestors during Qing Ming at Bukit Brown
Light hearted moment with the tomb keepers 

The second is Chua Jeen Tee (son of Chua Keh Hai ) and his wife Irene. I met them last year during Qing Ming and was pleasantly surprise to meet them again this year. Chua Jeen Tee is now 77 years of age and is paying respects to his deceased parents. The rest of Chua Jeen Tee brothers and sisters have already passed on. They usually take public transport and come in via Lornie Road (closer to Caldecott side) and walk in but this year, due to construction of the highway, they had to drive in and found the tomb with some difficulty. This story is common among some of the descendants as the highway construction has changed the landscape of Bukit Brown, making the usual routes they remember in the past look very different.

Paying respects to ancestors during Qing Ming at Bukit Brown
Chua Jeen Tee and Irene paying their respect to their parents 

Paying respects to ancestors during Qing Ming at Bukit Brown
Preparing the offerings 

Chua Keh Hai
Altar table of Chua Keh Hai and Lee Swee Har 
Paying respects to ancestors during Qing Ming at Bukit Brown


The encounter with the third family was very short as by the time i approached the elderly gentleman,(unfortunately i forgot to ask his name and yes i am lousy at this), they have almost completed their rituals at the tomb of Oh Sian Guan. In my short conversation with him i found out a bit more about Oh Sian Guan and his son Dr. William Oh from him. The elderly gentleman i spoke to is not directly related to Oh Sian Guan but his yearly visit is a form of "paying it forward" for in the past, Oh Sian Guan supported financially his father when he arrived in Singapore to do business (they were from the same village in China and were seen to be like sworn brothers).

Paying respects to Oh Sian Guan


Parting Pictures and Words

Bukit Brown is a special place for many people and for a volunteer guide like me, it becomes real when we meet the living descendants of the people buried here. I am constantly touched by the fact that many of the tombs in Pauper section are still been cared, tended for and in some cases this tombs renovated. What is also touching is the inter-generational families that come together to reaffirm family bonds and the recollection of their common stories.  The cultural practices are also pass on to the next generation in hope that this family tradition continues. As i said, it is during such festival's that Bukit Brown becomes a cultural space that reinforces its living heritage.

Intergenerational families visiting Bukit Brown during Qing Ming
Intergenerational families visiting

Traffic during Qing Ming in Bukit Brown
Busy day in Bukit Browm 

Bukit Brown horses
The regular visitors are here too 

See you next year 


Related Articles


Qing Ming in Bukit Brown. (Posted on March 26, 2014)
Last Qing Ming for some residents(Bukit Brown). (Posted on April 1, 2014)
Exhumations in Bukit Brown. (Posted on July 8, 2014) 
Qing Ming at Bukit Brown. (Posted on April 6, 2012)