|Straits Times, April 14, 2013.|
The final showcase to UNESCO is to demonstrate how Bukit Brown, since is closure is still meaningful to the community today. That to me can be seen in two aspects (1) the cultural practices that is still maintained till today (2) the educational value and national education potential of a nation in infancy.
I will not talk about educational value and nation building or national education potential in this article (that can be demonstrated elsewhere) but rather i take the opportunity to share with you some of the photos i took today at Bukit Brown, the very day when this article by Straits Times went out and hopeful provide pictorial evidence of how meaningful this place is still.
Observations: Rich and poor, it doesn't matterSome of tombs may not be grand (rich) and some are even located at the pauper section of Bukit Brown, but it doesn't matter as i see many evidences of ancestral remembrance, their descendants in their offerings made today during this Qing Ming Period (tomb sweeping period or all souls day).
|Simple, yet not forgotten|
Observations: Old with new practicesQingming practices are passed on from one generation to the next with its origins dating back 2,500 years, but infused within this practices are the new traditions or beliefs. The essence of ancestral worship and filial piety or remembrance transcends time and religion. That being said, many overseas chinese maintain traditional practices long disappeared in China due to the rise of Communism and the cultural revolution wiping out many traditional practices.
|Offering to the wondering spirits|
|Offering to the wondering spirits|
|Offering for wondering baby spirits (note the milk and sweets)|
|Use of windmills infused into tomb remembrance|
|Traditional use of rice wine in offerings |
(some have substituted this with dried chinese tea leaves)
|Orange on top of headstone instead of traditionally|
Observation: Intergenerational bondingBukit Brown remains relevant to both the old and the young, becoming a landscape where many intergenerational family connect with each other and although in a somewhat morbid setting for some (but peaceful in the naturalistic setting for others) where death is the common end that will eventually embrace all of us. We still find comfort that we are remembered, cared for and loved, thus giving the sense and hope of immortality. It is in this occasion where family stories of family history are often verbalised and passed down to the next generation that keeps us alive.
|Young and old coming together|
|Bukit Brown becomes a bustling place|
|Everyone doing their part|
The article has a lovely write up of Tiong Bahru which today, launched a new heritage trail. I visited Tiong Bahru last month on my own without much knowledge of its heritage. Will try to catch up on a organised tour in the near future, which i read is planned for the first Saturday of the month starting from May.
Qing Ming at Bukit Brown. [website ]. Rojak Librarian, posted on April 6, 2012
Bukit Brown Cemetery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. [website]. Rojak Librarian, posted on April 2, 2013
The forgotten heritage at our own backyard. [website].Bukit Brown Heritage Park, posted on March 28, 2013
New heritage trail launched at Tiong Bahru.[website]. Channel Newsasia, posted on April 14, 2013
Elegy for an urban graveyard. [website]. The Economist, posted on April 1, 2013
The Sunday Times: Unesco bid: How about Tiong Bahru, Bukit Brown. [website]. Tiong Bahru Estate, posted on April 14, 2013