In China destroying coffins and banning funerals has begun
Authorities in Jiangxi Province in the southeast of China began to take measures to implement the policy of “only cremation” in order to conserve land resources, forcibly confiscating from the local population ready coffins and prohibiting traditional rituals of burial of the deceased, writes the newspaper South China Morning Post.
The provincial government intends to make cremation the only permitted method of destroying human remains. The authorities of many cities throughout the province, in order to conserve land resources, put the deadline for the implementation of the policy of “only cremation” by September of this year.
According to photographs and video footage spreading in social networks in China over the weekend, officials forcibly confiscated coffins from the homes of local villagers in the urban districts of Ganzhou, Jian and Yichun. A huge mountain of wooden coffins was destroyed by an excavator, while many elderly people lay down in coffins in an attempt to preserve them.
Since the authorities came up with the policy of “zero funeral”, possession and production of coffins was prohibited, and the provincial authorities were engaged in confiscating already existing coffins. According to a local resident who wished to remain anonymous, local poor families took many years to accumulate about five thousand yuan to make coffins, while the authorities offered only two thousand yuan in compensation.
Resident says also that officials have banned not only coffins, but also other traditional rituals, including gravestones and paper money.
This is not the first controversial case in China associated with funerals. Earlier, the authorities of Shandong Province also banned traditional burials. According to the new policy, the dead should be cremated, and relatives should provide a certificate of these procedures.
However, for some chinese it is extremely important to be buried in the land in a traditional way so that the body at the funeral was undamaged. Therefore, some citizens resort to the services of “body traders” to burn someone else’s body and get a certificate, and bury the body of a relative intact, often it is done secretly.
In April, five men received prison sentences for the theft and sale of bodies for cremation in Jiue County, Heze Town District, Shandong Province. A staff member at a crematorium in Shandong province said that many people understand the need for cremation to preserve good ecology, but the old generation does not accept this, people want to be buried in the traditional way, so their children go to crimes in order to fulfill the last will of their parents.