Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hakka Cemetery

Not far from my home I found a very interesting cemetery with approximately 3000 monuments, most of which are identical in size. The smaller ones are covered in small white tiles. 33 are slightly larger, and more ornate. There are also a few offering altars interspersed on the grounds. The grave site is nestled among some high rise buildings and hidden behind a car dealership in the Commonwealth area.

My new friend Ah Kun, the groundskeeper, gave me a tour of this serene place called Ying Fo Fui Kun Cemetery. He is a dog lover but told me I was such a pretty kitty he didn't mind spending time with me.

According to The Straits Times, December 21, 2012 By: Janice Tai And Melody Zaccheus, "The site is the last Chinese, Hakka Clan cemetery in Singapore and takes up about 5 acres. Urns of the deceased were moved here from other sites in the 1960's. They are housed in a building next to the monuments. Sadly there is talk that the cemetery may be demolished in the near future to make room for more housing construction".

Lam Pin Foo writes in the July/August 2013 edition of Passage Magazine, that the Hakkas " Who number between 40 and 50 million, live in seven of southern China's provinces, yet comprise less than 5% of the population." Despite their low numbers, many have become very influential military and political leaders. "Among their overseas descendants is Singapore's first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.  

I hated to leave this historical site as Mr. Ah was such a nice gentleman. However his dogs (luckily behind a chain link fence) were barking up a storm and driving me crazy.

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