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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Cremation as the eco-friendly option

From Taiwan News:

On Tomb Sweeping Day yesterday, a candidate for Taipei City mayor, Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川), suggested that families should choose the more environmentally friendly option of having their loved ones cremated after death instead burying or storing the remains at a mortuary. After cremation, the ashes could be scattered in the sea or in forest, he said. "Right now a large portion of the land in the city has been designated for cemeteries. But if more people are willing to chose cremation instead of burial then the city would have more land to build parks," said Yeh, adding that cremation is also more cost effective than burial. Tomb Sweeping Day, also known as "Ching Ming" Day is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture as it is the day when people show their filial piety by worshipping their ancestors. Traditionally, relatives clean ancestral gravesites and pay tribute to their ancestors by burning incense and "ghost money." It is believed that the dead can use "ghost money" - paper that represents cash - to buy things in the underworld. But fire departments have warned that burning ghost money is a fire hazard and have urged caution when doing so, particularly near gravesites.


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