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Friday, March 25, 2005

I see dead people...

Well, no, I didn't actually see dead people, but I went to the crematorium columbarium at Poh Huat Road today. Is it called the crematorium? I don't know. It's not where you cremate the dead, but where you store the ashes. Sorta like a graveyard, but no graves, only urns of ash hidden behind marble slabs for the gravestones.

It's Good Friday, and on almost every Good Friday, my mum's side of the family would visit the graves, not for some morbid Salem-like witching ritual, but to remember those who came before in our family. There's my great-grandfather and his wife, my grandmother, and my grandaunt and her husband.

So there we (my and two other families) were, admiring the marble slabs with the photos and inscriptions. When we were young and visited the actual graves (before those were exhumed so that the land could be used for housing and new development (in land-scarce Singapore, even the dead have no rest!)), our parents made us bow in front of the gravestones. Looking back, as Christians, should we have done that???

But we're older now, some with spouses, and we don't bow. We look, we remark, and then we compare handphones. Or we look at the marble slabs of the other "residents". I remembered that there was a young kid, a boy, I think, somewhere nearby, but I couldn't locate him. That's the only one I remember in the vicinity because the boy died at such as a preteen, if I remember correctly. How sad.

We were there for about half an hour, and then we went to Little India for dinner. Over dishes of mutton and chicken and fish head curry and squid, I somehow got to talking with my uncle, auntie, cousin and cousin-in-law about karaoke in Singapore and what goes on in the "unclean" ones. Not that I know firsthand, rather, my knowledge is based on what I've read and what others have said.


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1 comment:

Tym said...

I believe it's called a columbarium. The crematorium is what used to be at Mount Vernon, which has since moved to some godforsaken location in the outskirts somewhere.

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