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2015.04.06 | 清明時分

[Volume 10 Issue 4, #2010]
Times during Qing-ming
Qing-ming Paper Offering for Ancestors
清明期間嘅紙紥祭品愈來愈有創意, 呢度燒一件, 袋中又燒多張錢.. 最近讀過一篇文章, 覺得甚是頭頭是道.. 話說自古已有類似嘅焚燒文化,只是古人燒嘅係往生者嘅私人物品, 個意思係指「人已去, 其物皆也, 一切盡空」.. 之不過呢個傳統不知不覺間, 已演變成今時今日嘅習俗, 越係燒得多, 就表示先者往生生活更富裕.. 就係咁樣燒, 當然一盡孝心啦, 暫且將佢哋會唔會收到呢個問題放一邊, 其實先人去咗嗰一個異度空間, 係唔係仲對呢啲物質享有所需求受呢?? 值得深思噃.. :)

另一方面, 提到傳統隨時間而演變.. 現時真係不難喺墳場內發現, 好多人拎住部手機就係咁影, 甚至同先人個墓碑齊齊selfie或wefie噃!! 比較起以前提起呢啲嘢都係禁忌嘅年代, 依家啲後生人若見到先人顯靈在相片中單眼微笑擺V字手勢, 應該只會覺得興奮.. :p
the paper offerings for ancestors during qing-ming are surely getting more and more creative, burned are the offerings and so did our money.. i recently read an article which i found rather making sense and enlightening.. all these burning started in the ancient, where belongings of the departed were burned to signal "all gone, the person and his belongings, and there left nothing to remain".. this tradition has however unknowingly become contrary, today the more offering you burned means the richer afterlife the departed would enjoy.. we just burn, of course to show how filial, but do our ancestors (put aside if they will receive) really need luxury stuffs in another space where they probably need nothing "tangible" at all?? food for thoughts.. :)

on another note, talking about traditions that change with time.. in cemetery nowadays, we can easily see photo-shooting and even selfie or wefie with the tomb.. compared to the taboo of even mentioning anything close, younger ones probably are more excited if their ancestors appeared with a winky smile and a v-sign in those selfies.. :p
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195 comments:

  1. Yesterday we went to Mil’s house, instead of the usual Saturday’s dinner coz got “tai yai ji”, which is the Ching Ming “dai yat ji”.. When we arrived the house, MIL asked the kids to “ching-ching” to the ancestors at the praying table..To show the ancestors got how many grandchildren, etc.. I was thinking, hmm, only the kids? Adults no need?

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    1. Oh yeah, I was thinking the same also when I’m reading your post.. Does our ancestors or people from “there” can really receive our burnt offerings? Like we burn a condo, for example, how do we know the “right person” (means our own ancestors or deceased relatives) already received it the moment we burn for them?

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    2. But like you said, this is a tradition, we just follow only.. Burn offerings, serve good food on the praying table, we do it for the peace of our minds, but whether or not they really received, we dunno for sure also, but we still do it anyway.. Just like how we usually do for the Hungry Ghost day.. For the peace of mind..

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    3. About changes in tradition, yep, agree with you too.. Like people say, ikut peredaran masa.. A lot of people now blog and post photos in FB already, about their tomb sweeping or tomb visiting, etc.. New trend, of course.. Ikut peredaran masa :)

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    4. But I think I still dare not take pictures of anything to do with Ching Ming la, like yesterday in MIL’s house, she cooks a lot of good food.. I thought of snapping the pictures and keeping them in my gallery, and then blogging about them when I have nothing to blog about.. But then, I think think, ermm, don’t feel like doing it, coz “they” eat the food first, then only we sit down and eat ma, so not nice to take pictures.. So last-last, I no take photos la.. But a lot of food la MIL cooked, got chicken prawns, abalone, fish maw, soup.. Yummmzzz…

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    5. yalor, i also just follow tradition only lah.. buy and burn and pray and then gone.. but then i never bother to go and take photos also lah, really never find that necessary or relevant also lor, haha!!

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    6. I believe that it is okay to take photos with our family members at our departed's graves only and not the whole area of cemetery as we might be "intruding" into others without courtesy or respect. Then the photos should be appropriately viewed within family members.

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    7. I guess all of us just follow tradition only la and do our duty. For me, I do take pictures around. It will be great if I can capture 'something'. muahahahaha.....

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    8. From what i know, one might not capture the unseen in photos but you might have trapped them inside your camera and brought them home. It just works similarly to the umbrella transport to bring the unseen from one place to another.

      If you started seeing odd things or odd behaviours around you, then you have captured 'something'.....as you had wished.

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    9. Oh, we did wefie too. Just to remember the day that we went for prayers to the ancestors.

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    10. one thing it's about "extras" being captured in the photo or even into the camera.. another thing it's about respect - we asked if we could take photos of others, but do you asked for permission if you could take photos of the "departed's houses"??

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    11. I agree with Anay . Snap own ancestor's punya grave photo will be enough rather than whole area. Heard some go and snap beauty shoot there. Hmm not so good la. Maybe am old fashion la

      Yikes...camera really works like umbrella ah? Aiyo...you make my bulu roma naik liao , anay. I really never thought of it that way

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    12. Chris ya, if really get to capture the "extra" thing, I believe you won't be so happy liao...honestly lo!!

      I also wondered do they even ask their ancestor or not, before they starting to take picture, if their ancestor don't like then how ya? If the ancestor one I think still okay de, but some accidentally capture others one into their picture then really "dai ga lai si"....so as in conclusion, I think better don't take any picture la...

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  2. So far, every year, i will go to my father there, as for my grandparents, my aunty will go to the temple to pray, as for burning those items, i also not too sure if she did that...

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    1. Nowadays I only go to my mom-in-law to pay respect. Ipoh is too far and furthermore, I just went back for CNY.

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    2. I have not gone back to my hometown for Qing Ming for some years now after my parents moved down to KL... No wonder my mum preferred her ashes to be placed amongst the waves of the oceans. Her reasons was that once departed, we return to nature and the future generations would unlikely come back to pray. This is just a subjective matter and preference.

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    3. I only offer prayers to my late PIL every year. I haven't visited my dad's tomb since I got married. May be one Cheng Beng, I should do it again.

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    4. There are several other auspicious dates that you could visit your own father's grave throughout the year. You can check with the joss stick shop sellers who are experts in prayer advice.
      From what I often heard was that when a daughter is married out, she has to serve and pray to the husband's side of ancestors. The sons will have the responsibilities to pray to their ancestors always. So what happens when the family has no sons but daughters only?

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    5. every year i go two places.. the old cemetery in Serdang (behind UPM) for my grandparents, and then Nilai Memorial Park for my late mum..

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    6. UPM serdang is where my granny is buried. Not sure where my grand father is buried.

      Tak tau but my mother side tarak follow the rules. Every year they will go to my grandfather and grand mother graves to clean the graves. They go there very early around6am. By 8am 9am can already come back home .

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  3. I think we should not assume our ancestors do not need tangible items in the afterlife. As much as we do not know whether they can receive those things from burning or not, we also do not know whether the afterlife is something floating around or something tangible. Unless you've been there before, then I should stop following you wakakaka XD

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    1. i did not assume but rather curious to know if they will receive or not, and if they actually need all these things (maybe what they have there are even more high-tech than what we have here, eg: iPhone 7, hahaha!!).. well well well, i think some people may have traveled to the space of the afterlife and come back again, would be great to hear their experience..

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    2. Maybe can read more and do some research if you are interested but don't take it seriously yet. Some articles may be bogus.

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    3. I wonder too if they were really there when we prayed. Anyway, we need to follow the tradition so that our lives are being protected.

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    4. Most of the time, they are believed to appear for few minutes only to look-see and smell the food before evaporating off as they are not supposed to be lingering in the human realms always. The experts have advised that the food offered to the yin souls should not be eaten by humans after that as many fell sick or experienced negative lucks right after. I often saw my relatives eating the whole feasts of the prayer food after prayers. Nowadays, many families in Taiwan are aware of the taboos and would not eat the prayer food to the ancestors.

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    5. i am actually quite interested to read about all these cultural stuffs and believes.. some are too mysterious that make us curious..

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    6. eh not eat the food that have been offer for prayers? I heard terbalik. say must eat. Especially children coz after eat the "ancestor's saliva" the child will be good and obedient wor.

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  4. You are right, SK. It is actually something worth pondering. As for myself, I don't selfie or wefie at the cemetery. I feel uneasy to take pictures there. May be I am the older age group. I think I have generation gap with the youngsters nowadays.

    I folded only a small amount of gold paper for my ancestors, as I choose to believe in environmental friendly more.

    I bought only what my ancestors really like and need to burn only. I don't buy iPhone, iPad or Selfie Stick for them. Instead I bought them clothes and shoes only. The most important thing is praying them with food that they love. Hehehe! Luckily my ancestors love kopi-o and Starbucks.

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    1. *sorry, typo error, Luckily my ancestors love kopi-o and not Starbucks. Other wise I need to pray them with Starbucks ice blended mocha. Kekeke! I saw people praying with Starbucks coffee, after praying they drank the Starbucks immediately.

      Thank Goodness, my parents love Chinese Tea only. Otherwise I will be broke and especially now with everything GST.

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    2. In fact, everything is the heart that counts. No need to over spend on those "burn" things. Like SK said is true, we don't know whether the ancestors would really receive those things.
      Probably the ancestors already go through reincarnation.

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    3. I just heard from today Melody FM, Chui Ling and Janzen said our ancestors could enjoy the technology faster than us. Many burned Apple Watch to their beloved ancestors, Apple Watch still no yet launches in real world eh!

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    4. yeah, i guess we just have to base on what we can afford and let there be no wastage.. tradition is tradition and i guess we can hardly do away with that, but then for the photoshooting, haha, i guess i am too old and conservative to do that.. :p

      haha, they are actually more advanced!! we only have iPhone 6 but they already have iPhone 7.. we have SK-II and they already have SK-III~~ :D

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    5. It's the modern era and youngsters like to get modern gadgets for their ancestors. Just hope that they receive it as we believe so.

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    6. i read a piece of news years ago.. a youngsters dreamed about his grandfather asking him how to use the smart phone he burnt for the grandfather..

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    7. ahem ahem...Yannie...you burnt the stuffs gt add 6% GST ka? :p. Nah saw this joke in facebook.

      Yes...me too not comfortable if snapping photo at those area. been to the one in semenyih. very beautiful and like a garden but still....hmm....am old fashion and chicken la

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  5. What a coincidence my first post for 2015 after 8 month MIA is about QingMing too haha

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    1. my first "commentable" post for April after 2 days MIA is about Qingming also :D

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  6. No one can tell if they really received whatever even if its a di-jamin sampai esok.Its a 1 billion $ question. Guess its more for comforting the living?

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    1. Since young, I have the believe that the ancestors really receive what we burn for them. Especially money and clothings which are of utmost importance.

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    2. yeah.. but i guess many believe that they actually receive, hence we keep on burning :)

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  7. My earliest recollection of qing-ming was when I was quite small. Primary school I think. I used to follow my grandparents to the cemetery to perform the cleaning, prayers and offerings. At that time, the only offering burnt was the paper money.

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    1. I also followed my parents to Qing Ming when I was a kid. That time, it was at those eerie hilly cemeteries. Quite scary, I think I also saw some bones in a broken container or it is just my fickle children imagination.

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    2. When I was young, we went to the graveyard to pray my late grandparents. At that time, we always felt scared to make a single noise over there.

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    3. i did not go qingming until i finished my studies and started to work.. my parents and their siblings always went on Saturdays while i had to go to school..

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  8. I wonder when did the trend start for people to burn paper replica of worldly goods? It is rather amazing that they have TV, computers and handphones. The replicas are quite realistic too.

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    1. yeah, i am truly impressed by those replica..

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  9. Now I understand the true reason why in ancient times the belongings of the departed were burnt. It makes sense doesn't it that it signifies that the person and all that belongs to him are all gone.

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    1. that was what i read about, and i find that actually making sense.. though that's the only one i could find with the same idea..

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    2. Those dolls effigy can be scary but I don't think they burn it during Qing Ming but funerals.

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    3. i think some still burn those dolls effigy, as maids and servants and drivers for the ancestors..

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  10. I know that some people burn basic things like shoes and clothes. I heard of a story that someone dreamt about his relative who told him that he did not have enough clothes to wear. That dream was taken to mean that the departed had come to visit and request for new clothes. Scary!

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    1. In fact, I dreamed of my late dad too, he told me his DVD player was not functioning. Therefore I told my sister to burn DVD player for him again.

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    2. hmmm, that means all those burning of offerings actually can reach the departed?? next time burn the user manual too..

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  11. I guess when everyone else is burning all the luxurious goodies for their departed, it kind of put some pressure on us to follow right? I mean, what if it is true that the other side can receive these things. Imagine our poor departed loved one didn't get anything while those around him are playing with smartphones or ipads!

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    1. you are right, i often see others buying really creative stuffs for their ancestors that impress me a lot, haha!!

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  12. My Muslim friends once joked about how when it is time to go to the other side, all the Chinese will be having houses, cars, clothes, shoes, handbags, while they will be so poor and have nothing.

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    1. i actually wonder if we all will go to the same space regardless of religion??

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  13. I have a story about food offering. My aunt told me that the departed can actually "eat" the food. She claims that the food that is offered to the departed will not taste the same anymore. It will be tasteless because it has already been "eaten".

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    1. ah, that i have heard of, but then i think it won't turn totally tasteless right?? or probably as they food were placed there for quite some time, the taste actually "ran" away??

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    2. On the other hand, the food offerings ended up became animal food or even beggars' especially fruits. However, not sure if those human scavengers who ate will have bad dreams....

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    3. I actually eat those food offered to departed family members. So far no negative effects. Some people say that you cannot consume those food and some Christians do not want to eat it. It is such a waste to throw the food,

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    4. it's our tradition and culture to feast on those food offered to the departed right after the prayers at the cemetery!!!

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  14. It has been many years since I performed the annual qing-ming. I understand that it can be quite crowded at the cemeteries especially during weekends.

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    1. it has been many years that i am performing that every year.. :p

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  15. Oh dear, taking photos with the tomb? I would not ever think of doing that. I mean, what if you see another person in the photo who was not physically there? Cabut!

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    1. yeah, right!!! for the same reason i won't do that!! :p

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    2. There was one year which I took many photos at the cemetery. While browsing thru the pixs, I was surprise to see one pix which shows one particular tomb with the deceased pix there. I don't think I took it or maybe I accidentally press on the button. hahaha... I have since removed it. Of course, it sounds scary to me then.

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    3. Aiyo, Chris! Don't take anymore photos there lah :D

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    4. wow, ChrisAu you must share that photo, let us see that!!

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  16. I wonder if the younger generation would keep up with this tradition. I know that the older ones perform the qing-ming faithfully every year. There are people who place their departed in columbariums and I guess this makes performing qing-ming much easier? Just go to one place to offer prayers instead of making a trip to different locations (if the graves are located at different cemeteries).

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    1. this is a good question to ask, as i can see the younger generations actually are quite ignorant (and probably indifferent) about the tradition already.. i admit i am one of these, haha!!

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    2. My dad and my ancestors are placed in columbarium

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    3. Sooner or later, all cemeteries will become housing estates or highways and the remains will be dug up and cremated. The younger generation will just go to the columbarium and placed flowers. You know which country I am talking about ....hahaha

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    4. land are getting more and more expensive until not many can actually afford.. so many just settle with cremation and columbarium..

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  17. I just went to pay respects to my dad and ancestors last Thursday

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    1. Every year it's a must for us to go to Sam Poh Tong to offer prayers to my late PIL. My husband won't be happy if anyone of us couldn't make it for Cheng Beng.

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    2. i went to Serdang and Nilai last Saturday..

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  18. Oh so nowadays they dont mind taking pictures in cemetery... I didn't know that.. but so far, we haven't done that.. .taking pictures I mean...

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    1. I took pictures during my late FIL's wake. I did it as a remembrance of it.

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    2. nowadays people are very happily taking photos in cemetery and also during funerals.. and then must post on social media to earn likes!!

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  19. I guess I am still very much an old fogey cos I don't find it apropriatte to take photos at the cemetery and acted like we are at the mall or something.

    But of course different culture different style.
    RIght?

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    1. yeah, call me Uncle but i am never having a single thought to take photo, not to mention selfie in a cemetery or in a funeral.. i find it rather not appropriate..

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    2. When I was in Langkawi, I took a lot of photos of Mahsuri's tomb leh ....

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    3. I guess it's alright to take some pictures. Just don't overdo it. A picture or two is sufficient.

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    4. haha.. Mahsuri's tomb is nowadays more like a tourist attraction already.. :p

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  20. Indeed the offerings now are way hi-tech..

    Even for people like me, I am in awe at what is offered to your ancestors.

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    1. not only you, i am awed by how "advanced" those offerings could be.. eg: iPhone 7 and SK-III.. haha!!! i actually think the simplicity of your religion in this matter being impressive too..

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    2. I can't help but to share my observations. I actually like the simplicity of Muslim rites. The departed is buried on the same day, or before sun down the next day. That way, the living can get on with their lives whilst offering their prayers after the burial. It's different from other practices where the body is kept for a few days.

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    3. i have to agree with the simplicity too..

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  21. Yes, you are right, if the ancestors appear in the wefie, then it is even better for the youngsters because their instagram accounts would be getting so many hits and they will be trending and become popular, maybe can earn big bucks too by becoming an online celebrity - the one with the ghost pictures. I don't practise this tradition, to me, better be filial when the person is alive than to neglect the elderly but when they passed away, burn lots of things (and pollute the environment for the future generation) to show others that we are filial.

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    1. haha, i guess i wouldn't want to get famous in this way.. call me backward thinking or conservative, but i still find taking selfie very inappropriate in a cemetery or in a funeral.. and i gotta agree with what you said, treat everyone well while they are still alive, it means nothing if they have departed and you burn them so many offerings..

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    2. I agree with Mun. My grandfather always said that we should be filial to our parents and elders while they are still alive rather than to show love and care only after they have passed on.

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    3. Phong - I totally agreed to it. No point burning so many stuffs to the dead ones when you didn't take good care of them. I also feel bad as I only see my parents once or twice a year... :(

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    4. If the image appeared in the pix and posted on instagram, people will just said it's photoshopped and fake la... hahaha...

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    5. We should care for our people when they are still alive. No point burning lots of stuff to our ancestors. I believe in just doing what is appropriate like food and joss-sticks.

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    6. very true.. while they are still alive, we should treat them the best we could.. not until they are gone that we only start to regret..

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  22. Oh man .... oh man ... I was to blog about this subject in my blog but then I think twice on whether it will offend my readers who were practising this tradition or culture. However, I just wanted to blog about my opinions and I didn't do any research at all. And thanks for your research... at least now we know what's the basis of these burning after all.
    Well, in my opinion, all these paper offerings are getting ridiculous! (I seek your readers apologies first If my comment offended anyone, but itis just my opinion). Imagine they are designing stuffs like iPads, LCD tv and etc.... which I felt its getting out of hands. I am ok if folks burned paper clothes and money as in the past but nowadays the stuffs they burned were getting ridiculous. And, the one who are laughing to the bank (not hell bank ,ok) are the shops selling and making these stuffs.

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    1. you can still blog even if you have commented your views here la, just copy and paste your comments to form a new post maybe?? hehe!!

      anyway, the word "ridiculous" is never what I have in mind.. I respect the differebt cultures and religions, I did not do intentional research but just got to read that one article by chance.. just a million dollar question to ponder.. anyway, of course you may have your own view on this, I will just do as the Romans do because no one of us know what's there in the afterlife, haha!!

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    2. No la ... 'ridiculous' is my opinion only. It's nice to do some research though they may not be accurate too.I do it when I am free later. Now, I just curi makan and come in to spam...hahaha...

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    3. haha, i never have that "ridiculous" in my opinion, because i am also doing that.. :p

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  23. What prompted me to thought of blogging about this subject (which I am not going to do now since I can aired my views here) was I just came back from a ching ming festival and my in laws are burning stuffs like LV bags and some high tech gadgets... alamak... I secretly told my younger nephews in laws that their grandma already in heaven and enjoying everything she wanted... what's the used of burning these stuffs to her. Anyway, I said that as a Christian myself and they just smile. Of course, I respect the tradition but then ...aiya... I think it's not quite right.

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    1. I am on the same page as Chris but I guess we have to respect tradition and not offend those who believe in this practice.

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    2. yeah, those paper offerings are getting so creative and advanced I find them really impressive and at times amusing.. for example iPhone 7 and SK-III.. oh, those manufacturers are sure very clever!! XD

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  24. On the other hand, when I was a teen my grandma passed away. My uncle and aunties were burning paper house, clothes, money, dolls and etc to her. There's one of my grandma friend was in a trance and she started saying the ghosts were stealing my grandma's stuffs and she uses rice to sprinkle on them to chase them away. Food for thought .....

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    1. I actually read a news years ago, saying a young man burned a smart phone for his grandfather.. later at night, he dreamed of his grandfather asking him how to use that smart phone.. :p

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    2. Aiyo! So eerie! I was told that during the wake, there are other beings that will come and kacau. Some people who are gifted with ability to see such things can actually see those uninvited guests. That's why I feel quite takut when I attended a wake some years ago. While the monks were chanting, they used fans to cover their face. Someone told me that they cover their face to avoid looking at spirits. I am sure TM can enlighten us on this.

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    3. It's always mystery in the afterlife ...at least for us humans.
      I also heard someone in a trance told my dad his deceased bros (my uncles) opened a bicycle shop in the other world and living their life there.

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    4. it's always a mystery that we are so curious and eager to find out, and yet we feel eerie and scared at the same time, haha!!

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  25. Oh yeah ... I was having a fun time taking selfie and wefie too yesterday with my pretty nieces and handsome nephews. Oh..how I wish if I can see something extraordinary from the pixs but sadly nothing happens...hahaha..

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    1. that will be something that I will never do as I find it quite inappropriate, haha!!

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  26. Yes, in the past, we were scolded for taking pictures at the cemetery but then, the cemeteries were quite eerie and located mostly in the hill unlike now, there are a lot of memorial parks which were beautiful. I also took a lot of photos at the park especially those beautiful designs.

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    1. yes I have to agree that the cemetery now are so nicely designed and beautifully landscaped.. it's actually makes me feel more comfortable as compared to those old style graveyards with no planning..

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  27. I got a friend who was interested in ancient graveyards like the famous 'Bukit Brown' in Singapore which was demolished to make way for highways and housing estate. Some of these tombs are no longer taken care of and forgotten by the descendants. This friend of mine was sort of a tomb seeker where he and a group discovered hidden tombs and took pix to document it. How interesting.... And so far, nothing appear in his pictures yet though he even selfie with these tombs.

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    1. it would be nice to watch that as educational documentary, but if that is just for fun entertainment, I would despise it for disrespectfully inappropriate.. sorry lah, me being rather conservative about this, hehe!!

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    2. hahaha... he even document and posted it on facebook and it appears on some dailies. Anyway, he told me he 'felt' something while he was there but nothing bad happens to him. Anyway, he's doing a good job in discovering new tombs and identifying it.

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    3. i guess he did not offend "them" so he just felt but not really disturbed..

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  28. Back to the burning of paper models, I can't think of whether is this a religious practise. Definitely it is not Christianity and Buddhism and I am not sure if it is Taoism. In Buddhism, after one pass on, they believe in rebirth and reincarnation. Perhaps, like what you said, it could be a tradition passed down but on the way, it deviated from the original intent.

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    1. it would probably be Taoism and as the tradition passed down from generations to generations, it is likely to change with time and maybe deviated from the actual meaning of doing it..

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  29. Btw, you didn't mentioned about burning firecrackers at the graveyard. LOL .. this was only practise recently if I am not wrong and I still can't think of the rationale behind it. I thought firecrackers are used to ward off evil spirits during CNY but why lit up the crackers at the cemetery ? It might kacau them .... LOL ....

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    1. oh yay, burning firecrackers is something I find it very funny!! I thought we would let the departed rest in peace instead of waking them up with the firecrackers??!!

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    2. I can't help to agree with both of you here. I saw my Father In Law burning firecracker only last Sunday. Oh boy! I think the same, the firecracker would wake them up again. I feel uncomfortable la! The funny thing is - if want to wake the ancestors up to feast on food and offerings, why not burn the firecracker before praying? I saw my Father In Law burned firecracker only after we were almost done and going to leave the tomb. Why oh why?

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    3. Then, i found my answer when I was on my way back home. Qing Ming is the New Year for those have passed on. It is a celebration day for them. No sure I am right or not?

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    4. hmmm... I still think burning firecrackers are very funny at the cemeteries.... and its not cheap.

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    5. yeah.. i find that a bit absurd to burn firecrackers in the cemetery.. it's like celebration rather than to pay respect to the departed..

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  30. I guess during the Ching Ming festival, those sembahyang shops are making a fortune like how florist shops making a fortune during Valentines day.... hahaha...
    OK la..every trade also needed some bonus at certain point of the year. muahahaha...

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    1. yes, everything is getting more and more commercialized nowadays, as tradition is less followed.. the lifestyle of the younger generations perhaps?? :)

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    2. Everything too has become so expensive, we are actually burning a big hole in our pockets. Not too sure those offerings paper will have GST or not?

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    3. Yannie ..alamak... maybe yes if you bought after 1 Apr.

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    4. yeah.. things are getting expensive and probably many actually bought less this year??

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  31. While my in laws busy bringing down the paper models and stuffs like that from their SUV, I got my wife to get me some flowers to pay respect to my mom in law. Well, there are some Christians in the family and we put the flowers in the vase one at a time. I dunno, but I felt that's a gentle way to respect the loved ones , and nothing to do with religions.

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    1. every religion has their own ways of doing things, I guess we have no rights to judge which is better or worse.. as long as everyone is showing respect to the departed, that's the main point.. :)

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  32. Well , like what you said, at the end of the day, it's more of filial piety and if we don't burn the paper stuffs, then that seems not very filial. After all, it's all in the beliefs and by doing so, the descendants have done their responsibilities. Thus, though I differ in my opinions, there is nothing right or wrong as the younger generations are just doing their duty.
    I remember once at the memorial park, we were asked to pay some few hundreds to lit up a lamp for my mom in law (can't remember for what purpose) but its good for the soul. My in law did that... thus, again, it's just another practise of filial piety.

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    1. I think some of those who asked to pay a fortune to do something "they claimed good" may not be genuine but more of wanting to earn money lah.. anyway, to each their beliefs and preference, there's no compulsory thing I always think.. :)

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    2. Yeah, some do it to 'earn good luck' and fortune. Participate in something and you will be blessed.... something like that. hahaha.. Nothing wrong with that, anyway.

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    3. hahaha, i think as long as there are Chinese, there are always something they can do to "earn good luck"~~ :p

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    4. Oh, the lit the lamp thingy, they say it's good to the departed, as well as can 'bless' us, those who paid and lit the lamp, like a blessing to have good luck all year long. Many people find they are more 'on sam' after they lit the lamp. It's like 'someone' or 'something' is up there looking after us all the time.

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  33. Pay respects to them is to have peace of mind and to show them we still remember them though they are no longer around

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    1. yes!! I absolutely agree with what you said, that's the main purpose of Qingming.. show respect to the departed, like we respect others..

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    2. On the other hand, pay respect also can use fresh flowers and fruits in remembrance of the deceased.Sorry, just my opinion.

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    3. Yes, remember them even though they were gone forever. That's why we have cheng beng festival.

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    4. pay respect can even be just to be present there with empty hands.. it's the heart and mind.. :)

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    5. My girl is a Christian but she came along even though she didn't hold the joss-stick. Her dad was so proud of her as she decided to come back last minute to pay respect to her late grandparents.

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    6. True, Libby. Even though those departed are not with us anymore, we have to respect them all the time.

      Wenn, your daughter is sure a good girl.

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  34. This morning on my way to work, I wonder if they have paper ovens, cake mixer, mixing bowls, blenders, spatulas and whisk for the dearly departed who love baking.

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    1. I guess they may have all these stuffs, this industry is getting so creative now already.. this morning on FB, I just saw people burning one whole replica of Menara Maybank to the ancestor!! wow..

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    2. Phong Hong, next time, probably we can order online for those items that you mentioned like ovens, cake mixer, bread maker, noodle maker, blenders and burn for our ancestors.

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    3. Then the website will be called Hell_online_order.com with credit cards from hell bank ...lol

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    4. Geez! Chris sounds like he has potential in running this website! Do you sell online ramen and bento sets too? Muahahaha

      Someday someone might offer online purchase and delivery for any busy people to send flowers, food offerings or even paper offerings to the graves! Now we can order flower wreaths to be sent to funerals and even crematoriums! That was unheard of 50 years ago.

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    5. Goodness, Menara Maybank hah,,hah,,, Should have malls also lah.

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    6. haha, no joke and it's no surprise you can actually get all these things done online.. just like online shopping only.. :p

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    7. PH, not impossible la! These days, people are getting more and more creative. Whatever we have in real life, I am sure they can copy and recreate, may be just change the brands.
      Or, as long as one has money, can always go and ask those manufacturer to create something even if that something is not common.

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  35. We also burned a car for my ancestors. Hopefully they receive it. Anyway, it's a modern tradition. We just sometimes just follow the culture.

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    1. It's more of a filial piety action but we never knows ... maybe they really received it. :)

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    2. Wow! Just one car and shared by so many ancestors! I think they need a fleet of Alpharde or Buses. I thought they fly around in lotus flowers. No?

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    3. True, we need to gather as a family to offer prayers to our ancestors. But we just got the necessary items plus the car instead of other high tech gadgets.

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    4. It is very good of the thoughtful families to always pay respect to their ancestors. I often give them thumbs up as the ancestors who are appeased with their descendants would always bless them. A very good example they could do is to make the road journey ahead of us to be cleared and smooth with minimal obstacles. They could also be our guardian angels who could whisper good opportunities into our ears! I know I sound like a superstitious grandma. Muahahaha

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    5. nowadays people not only burn money and clothes, but also cars with drivers, bungalows with maids, even aeroplanes and shopping malls and banks!!

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    6. If each and every one burn so many stuff for their ancestors during Cheng Beng, don't you think the heavenly place could be congested with all those items that they received.

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  36. Good morning Bloggers!! I am a day late and so much comments already! Dei, my name is not even inside the chart of spammers!! Gosh! Sweats! Sweats! Anay Sweats profusely! I saw this interesting post yesterday inside my phone while driving in the snail traffic jam but I didn't manage to comment.

    Similarly our long lost blogger Bananaz has updated his post and wrote the same topic but on different scales. Hop over and read there okei >>> http://bananazpeople.blogspot.com/

    Looking at the yearly Qing Ming's Tomb Sweeping Day, I could see that the trend and beliefs have changed so much since many decades ago. There seems to be so much money to be made today by taking advantage of the gullible market and consumers. It seems that these entrepreneurs studied and knew exactly the weakness and needs of the deceased's families more than they understood the need's of the deceased in the after-life in their realms. I find them rather innovative! Why didn't we think of something too? Maybe SK could create very special websites with HTML buttons for the living to click and send paperless offerings, happy icons, messages or prayers online to the deceased and loved ones! Anyone agree? Nothing is impossible!

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    1. Yes, SK can create website which delivers the paper offering to the place and schedule and even get some bangla to burn it for them. No need to send ourselves. Buy more than certain amount , no need GST and even firecrackers ..... how about it ??
      Can also have a network of delivery around the country and factories manufacturing the goods and manpower to help to burn the offerings.
      muahahahahaha....

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    2. Talking about firecrackers, I just watched the YouTube video in Bananaz's blog and was shocked to see the China folks burning loud firecrackers at the cemetery! I think that was not right to disrupt the peace of the occupants at the graveyards which is supposed to be quiet and peaceful without loud bangs and noise, People always used crackers to send away the spirits!! Adoi.

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    3. muahahaha!!! this is a good idea, but i think until those memorial parks actually set up TVs and internet at every grave to link the place and the families virtually??

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  37. The date of this post certainly brought me sweet memories as I was in Shanghai last year during their Tomb Sweeping Week. It was a real eye opener for me as I didn't know that it was a public holiday in China! They really observe this on a very big scale and give their highest respects to all the departed ones. Just like in Malaysia, we would see lots of heavy traffic on the few weekends but it was a totally different scene in China. They would pack the cities or their hometowns during the week long tomb sweeping period, not just weekends! The whole country would be packed with travelers on the roads, highways, train stations and airports! Oh my goodness, I was swarmed by the huge crowd of families all over Shanghai who actually took advantage of the public holidays to go on vacation as well. It was like a family bonding time everywhere to see the 3 generations walking along the streets, malls and packed all the restaurants. I learnt a lesson not to visit China during their Chinese New Year and Qing Ming which would be even more packed with travelers. The Tomb Sweeping week is not so packed as not everyone there would observe this festive week. I read somewhere that many companies in China would close for a few days while many workers might take a whole week off to return to their hometown!

    So that's what I found as a big eye opener as we do not have a public holiday here and probably never would be. Even if we have a public holiday observed, we might not take a week off!! Why? I realised that China is so huge and over populated until some folks needed 1-2 days to arrive home using the cheapest mode of transport which is by train or buses. Their domestic flights are the most crazily expensive in the whole world and I am serious. It is cheaper to fly from KL to Kashgar that might take a total 20 hours compared to their expensive flight from Xian to Kashgar that could be just 2 hours! The fare would be same price from both destinations.

    I went to Shanghai because I was on my way to Mount Jiuhua in Anhui Province. I had to find the cheapest and fastest transport which meant landing in Shanghai for a night before taking a high speed train to Nanking to hop onto the bus that winded its way across small villages all the way up to the foot of Mount Jiuhua. I passed cemeteries too and it was a pretty sight. It dawned on me that they have this one child policy in China, so you would not likely see a crowd around the individual graves as their family members are small withouit siblings! What happenes when the only child has died before the parents? Who would carry on the annual Tomb Sweeping rituals? This brought a tinge of sadness to me while on the bus.

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    1. Cant help it..it would be a quiet visitation to the cemeteries or some tombs would be left alone. Quite sad.

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    2. So sad. That's why sometimes we can see some tombs that were lonely.

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    3. Many people in Thailand esp the wealthy ones have this trend to strewn all their ashes into the popular oceans around Phuket Islands!! They knew that just 2 generations later, no one would pray for them.

      I think if the departed souls have gone to Western Paradise or heavenly realms, they do not linger on earth or their graves anymore. It becomes unnecessary to have the graves unattended to. Just my 2 cents.

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    4. yeah, when i was working in HK, we have got holidays on Qingming.. and because Qingming always comes back to back with Good Friday and Easter, that week will always be a long weekend..

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  38. 我们有的他们也有,还比我们先进一两个level的说~~

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    1. 譬如說 iPhone 7.. hahaha!! :D

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  39. Good day bloggers!

    Oh, this year I din't join for any qing ming, both the in laws and my family side, cause preggie ma! But I did show my respect by buying some paper offerings.
    But I remember last year I joined, but din't bring Aden along la, sister-in-law look after him, in fact he haven't join us for any qing ming since birth, he is just too young, I think better don't bring him to qing ming, cause young children can 'see things'.. You know? Better wait til they are old enough, like may be 6 years old and above?

    Anyway I agree, those offerings are getting more creative, basically whatever we have in real life, we can find those offerings exist too! Especially those gadgets/devices, much more canggih than real life one, hehe!
    Actually for once I wonder, those things we burn, 'they' can really receive in their world? I mean no offence ya, just curious... How many of us really believe in the third world? Hmm.. Anyway, it's the Chinese culture la, every year qing ming sure buy lots of offerings to '孝敬' those who passed away.

    Oh ya, I saw many friends posted photos when they go qing ming. Actually I read an article before, do respect those who passed away, no need to take photos there.. I also don't know what's the point of such photos.... =_=

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    1. We are curious whether the ancestors actually receive what we burn for them. Yet we still do it for the sake of believing it.

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    2. In the pasts I have often heard from some folks who went to consult those powerful mediums who went into trance to call up the departed souls to come and speak to the families. They liked to asked the departed about the well being and about all the offerings burnt to them during Qing Ming. The souls actually acknowledged directly or indirectly which was enough to convince the families alive who came to relate the whole stories to me. They were very convinced because the medium in trance spoke out and revealed certain hints that the medium would not know at all. So it was no fake or hoax by the medium, according to the families.

      I share one example about my Jin Kek Kong (granduncle in-law) who was an MP for a town and longtime MCA founding member who went along with the late TAR to fight for Malaya's independence. When his family called his soul through the medium, he mentioned something about a certain important item being hidden inside his coat at the wardrobe at home which no one knew its existence. Later they really found the important item. Next thing was, he jested about the huge piles of paper clothes they burnt for him during Qing Ming which were all his dull prints of flowers and girlie patterns!!! He said - "Come on, you know I wore while shirt and pants all my life!!!!" .... He was an active MCA member then. The family was shocked beyond belief and I bet they had a hard time to look for all white paper clothes!!! LOL

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    3. i am actually very impressed seeing those many creative paper offerings, time has changed and so does the beliefs of the people.. this can be easily observed at the cemetery.. of course, while i can accept those very creative and "advanced" paper offerings, i am still quite taken back by taking photos at the cemetery, i still think this is rather inappropriate..

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    4. Calling an ancestor's soul through medium can be rather scary. My mum once called my dad's soul and it seemed so real when the medium spoke.

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    5. wenn, yea true, we just follow what the Chinese culture, since it's pass like this from generation to generation. But have to say these days many things/procedures are being 'simplified' lo! Unless if there's an elderly at home, then we have to follow and obey all the pantang larang and rules.

      TM, nice sharing! I heard about this thing too! In fact witness it too. Actually really don't know how to judge it... Cannot say don't believe, nor 100% believe in it. Guess it's all depends on individuals.

      Sometimes the departed will sort of 'bou mong' for us right? Telling us what they need/what happened to them through our dreams. Sometimes can be scary when we wake up... But thinking that it's our close family/relatives, then we shouldn't be afraid la, they are not going to harm us anyway. Plus, if we din't do anything wrong, we shouldn't be afraid too.

      And those medium, actually they can be quite 'powerful' right? Cause sometimes what they say/predict is really true and accurate one.

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  40. I received a picture on whatsapp ppl burning the entire menara maybank for the dead. Quite scary actually. Summore instead of the tiger logo, they replaced it with a dog head >_<

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    1. Oh my goodness! That sounds gross but I have yet to see the photo. They many other things to burn that boosts their belief in "money" and "power".

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    2. yeah, i saw that too!! i even saw someone burning a real car, read again, a real car, not paper car.. :p

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    3. Goodness, why people want to burn real stuff for the ancestors? That's overdoing it.

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    4. Huh, seriously? I din't see such posts, but by reading what you guys wrote, kinda spooky la!! I mean, real stuff wo!!

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  41. alo SK...

    Cheng beng time sure have a lot of these being sold. More and more creative each year

    I noted that these paper thingy are not cheap leh . And now got also all those paper electronic items. And they made it in very fine details too

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  42. selfie/wefile都冇乜問題,不過擺上社交網站公諸於世,就做得好多囖。

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  43. Interesting reads on how the burning things to those who have pass away started.

    Yes, old days they would burn those stuffs. Coz I heard la it is due to two reason.

    First kira it is not ong or auspicious if to use or wear the clothing ot the mattress that have been used by those who had pass on. Their spirit will come hunt you.

    heard story from my mom that one uncle or something la. Got a man passaway and they giving out his things to friends and neighbour. That uncle went and take the bed coz the bed is still in good condition.

    When he sleep on the bed, he kept having bad dreams and not long after that he fall sick. Go see so many doctors and sinseh maan ubat also cannot cure. Then one day someone tell him go to the chinese bomoh. The chinese bomoh saw his face aje terus asked him whether he have taken anything that did not belong to him punya or not recently. He think and think tarak then think oh ya the bed. the chinese bomoh told him to burn the bed coz the spirit wants his bed back.

    Don't know because of having s much medicine or what or whether betul betul have spirit....after he burnt the bed...he recever from illness... so scarey leh.

    That's why i feel apprehensive to buy second hand items. Don;t know whether the previous owner died or not.

    Second reason is germs lo. If people died of some dieseas...takut jugak wanna take. dunno whether it is contagious or not.

    That is also why when going book hunting...i will buy many second hand book for myself by not for J coz i don;t feel comfortanle buying second hand books due to hygiene. Yeah am paranoid but ...just to be safe la

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  44. SK, am not expert la but burning these paper offering i think maybe also got divided to whether you are buddhist or you are taoist leh . one of them is burning paper offering. Think that is taoist.

    But for buddhist i think they just pray only . tarak burn offering punya.

    Hmmm...sorry ah....these things am lesen lembu one. Must ask Anay. He wuld know better/

    Coz from my childhood, our believe ....my granny and mom are like rojak. Praying to Gwan Yin but then on the 1st and 15th and all the whatever festival will also have offerings. Gwan Yin is under Buddhist is it? blur sotong liao

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  45. recently i read a book about after life. If not mistaken it was Yang Sheng . Correct me if I am wrong, Anay. Anay highlighted this book to me and i recalled reading this book when i was in standard 6. about how after death, each soul will go through a period of punishment and redemption for all the things that they have done during their life time.,

    If not mistaken (coz the book is chinese translated in english...translation not so good so i have to agak agak plus my knowledge of the religion not strong), there was one chapter that this man Yang Sheng asked the Hell Official what happen to each souls and what happen to the things that the living burn for them.

    The official seems to answer that these things that the living burnt for them is for the comfort of the living. These soul have to go through punishments coz of their misdeeds. So no chances of them to use any of it. Entah my tranlation or my undertsanding is betul or not. Have to ask Anay

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  46. ya wor...now more and more dare to selfie and wefie at the graves. If really capture the photo of their ancestors then become bonus liao.

    This year i saw many wefie of people going for cheng beng grave cleaning and prayer in Facebook.

    That one okay la. It's like a family gathering. I don;t mind.. But i do mind is those who wefie or selfie in at grave and then like not respect the dead by sitting one the tombs stone. aiyo...like still on people's head leh..... how la.....

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    1. wakakaka....V sign in selfie....reminds me of someone....wait till she one online

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    2. Ya, a lot are doing this these days, may be they don't pantang? Or they just wanna take photos and share it with the world?
      Anyway, for me I won't do that, call me kiasi or what, I just think we need to respect the departed ones. Plus, where la got time and mood to wefie/selfie, must clean the tomb and arrange the offerings ma!

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  47. Since the previous is comment-disabled, I might just comment a bit here la :p

    The guess words games, not easy for me, hehe may be my IQ very low la! The first one I totally no clue how to play, so I cheated and clicked the answer right away. Then when I see the answer, I sort of know how to guess/which direction to take.
    But still, for those coming words, I tak jadi guess them correctly also, got a bit lazy to think also la honestly, so I terus clicked all answers :p
    Not that I 浪费 your creativity SK, just too lazy/no mood to squeeze my brain and play :p

    Then for this month's layout, not bad... nice and simple, like floral theme, quite modern too! If use as wallpaper, also very nice~

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  48. Actually I found it pretty awkward that those people take people in the cemetery, umm...not like something very happy also, to take "a" picture as to prove what ooh? As to prove to others you're very filial came all the way there to pray them? If really got the heart, even know no show picture or something, people will also finally see it one...if really take as a experience or memory please keep it to yourself...(coz really not like something very proud or to be happy with ya!)

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    1. As you said is right, if really want to 孝顺, better do it before they "leave"...after they leave already then only thinking of 孝顺 to them, everything is already too late...coz they're gone means they're gone, even you may said only the person is gone but the soul still here..but isn't it better that you treat them well before they passed away??

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    2. 人已死,什么都烟消雨散,做再多也于事无补,做来让先人看还是展示给后人看,只有当事人才知道。。。好像我看过很多,人在世的时候都不懂得珍惜,当他人死后才一直拼命的拜,拼命的烧香哭泣,那还有什么用呢?? “他”再也无法而看到了!

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    3. Haha, I have the same question as you Sheta... I mean what's the purpose of taking photos there and share with the world? I won't do that. The most I will do is just may be blog and write about it only, but sure won't share the photos.

      说得好,要孝顺就要趁早!

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  49. Opps, I commented quite a lot in this post but din't see them appear, don't tell me they are missing!
    Or you din't release them yet SK?

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