Cultural Differences – Tombstones and Cemetries: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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© irene waters 2017

The Royal Stupas in Phnom Penn are typical of stupas throughout Asia. Buddah set out the design which they all follow – The body is cremated and the relics, often divided in four and placed in four different places. Buddah in demonstrating the type of structure folded his yellow robe over and over until it was roughly a cube and then placed his begging bowl on top. The square and the dome are present in every stupa although the style of the dome may vary.

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© irene waters 2017

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A very different style of burial is seen in the churchyards of Christian churches. In the early years churches controlled burials and they had to occur on consecrated ground. They could refuse burial to those they did not think worthy (suicide was a common reason) and the families of the deceased often had to dig the grave..

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© irene waters 2017

With a father who was a minister we came across a lot of churchyards from an early age. This one was at Ebeneezer, at the oldest Presbyterian Church in Australia. I always read the inscriptions on the tombstones and felt sad about the early deaths of so many.

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© irene waters 2017

Eventually, often for reasons of health, church graveyards were replaced by municipal cemeteries. These tended to be sited away from where the populous lived but were often still divided into denominations. This old cemetery was interesting from a historical point of view and also a beautiful place to be.

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© irene waters 2017

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The Akaroa cemetery had the Anglican, Catholic, Dissenters and Public sections. The dissenters section was below the catholic section and was opened in 1873. This was the last resting place of mainly Presbyterians.

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© irene waters 2017

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I would have liked to know Jerry Kieffer, the enigma eccentric visionary. Spike Milligan also had an inscription that made you smile ” I told you I was ill.”

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In Wellington in the old cemetery that now lies on either side of an expressway Harry Holland – Prime Minister – stands with bottom bared. Something that one doesn’t often see in a cemetery.

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© irene waters 2017

In Greenland white crosses dot the countryside. It is difficult to bury in the rocky terrain and piles of rocks are often used.

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© irene waters 2017

In Vietnam a mausoleum holds the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. The atmosphere is kept cool. A military body guard protects. The body lies in a glass case.

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© irene waters 2017

The queue to view is long and guards enforce dress code and behaviour. I stood and slowly the queue moved ever forward like a snake slithering with purpose. Once there the flow kept you moving. There was no stopping for a really close examination and no photos were allowed.

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© irene waters 2017

For the average person in Vietnam the cottage industry supplies a coffin. In this area marble must have been plentiful.

In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
This entry was posted in Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cultural Differences – Tombstones and Cemetries: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    Excellent pot Irene. Thanks for playing.

    Liked by 1 person

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