Tombsweeping in Hong Kong

A Hall in the first tomb
There’s about 1000 spaces on each side of this hall – can you smell the money? :) – probably not the smell of incense is quite potent

Grandma and Grandpa
My Grandmother and Grandfather – the picture was recently updated to include both of them.

People gathered outside on the balcony
Some people gathered outside waiting for their turn to bow and make offerings to their ancestors

Another relative
My Grandmother’s sister on another floor in the same temple.

The government tomb
There were monkeys outside the tomb on these trees last time – no luck this time.

My father's brother's brother
I believe this is my father’s father’s brother’s brother but not not actually – need to ask about this one again.

Buddist Tomb
This was the last tomb I went to – monk inside reciting scripture and ringing a large bell gave it a nicer feeling than the commercial or government stops

And now some words I captured that day

Up the stairs to find the remains of my Grandfather. A familial obligation I did my best to perform humbly. On stainless steel tables inside the halls the older women of the family hurriedly prepare. Fruit – oranges mostly, bananas, rice, roasted meats – pork, chicken, duck – steamed buns, sweet sesame buns, veggies, paper money, and other niceties to be better appreciated by those enjoying their afterlife. I took 3 sticks of burning incense and, in line, payed my respects to my ancestor with three bows endured through eye-searing, lung clogging smoke. I finished quickly as the line demanded so. It was an exercise in efficiency as much as one of respect. I moved to a second room to repeat the gesture to my father’s cousins daughter’s mother – then to a lower level to once again bow with incense to my grandmother’s sister. I got 4 sticks of incense for the second bowing and 6 for the last from my uncle. It seems the significance of three was lost a little in this transaction. I softly inquired with my father about the significance of the entire act. “I think i need to invent another way for my children to pay their respects to me when I’m gone.” I supposed. I thought a nice dinner over meaningful discussions about family matters and biz would suffice. My father told me some people already were utilizing alternatives. There are sites where you can go and purchase virtual incense and the like and pay your respects virtually. Much more cost effective than purchasing a spot at this shrine to display your ashes – anywhere from 30000-100000+HK. That would ring a wall of 100 w x 13 h units (at an avg of 50k/box) in at 65,000,000HKD. There is well over a billion HK decorating the walls of this shrine. My father and I speculated there was almost certainly a business behind this operation. Real estate for the dead is a fine business indeed.

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