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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
In Greenland white crosses dot the countryside. It is difficult to bury in the rocky terrain and piles of rocks are often used.
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.
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.
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
Excellent pot Irene. Thanks for playing.
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