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Bukit Brown Cemetery

Friday, February 03, 2012
Had an assignment for Sociology of Religion to take photos of something to do with a religion/faith different from your own. I decided to go to Bukit Brown Cemetery, which is one of the few remaining cemeteries with graves since all bodies thereafter have to be cremated.

I wanted to learn the meanings behind burning offerings & grave features, like how there are these lion statues at the "entrance" to the grave. Most of the time people think of religion with respect to the living - how religion controls/guides your life - so I felt religion & death would be interesting.

So anyway... I completed my assignment, handed it up on time... & then was told I had to re-do it simply because I am half Chinese, so it's not "different" enough. Alaric too, had to re-do his, although both of us can't even read Chinese.

I suppose the assumption is that Chinese = Buddhist. And European = Protestant/Catholic. Which means that as mix-blood I'm left with Hinduism & Islam. Which 90% of the class also did, since obviously a vast majority are Chinese & Christian churches are boring hahahahaha (no seriously what... they're too modern compared to temples!) (at my church I could maybe take a picture of a Powerpoint slide)

P.S. I'm doing Hinduism in the end!

It's a shame because Buddhism (my project would have eventually culminated in that) is interesting to me, because of how it's actually more of a way of life/philosophy rather than a worshipping faith. 
But since my photo-taking went to naught, I might as well post up some of the photos here!

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A gate as an "entrance" to one of the graves I suppose?
I can't tell which it leads to though, because none seem related.

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Lots of monkeys running around, chilling atop the tombstones.

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Anyone care to tell me what this side, mini-tombstone is? 
I saw offerings made to both this as well as the main tombstone itself.

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One of Bukit Brown's significant graves due to the Sikh guards.

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Wtf I Googled "Chew Geok Leong" & it actually appears on Foursquare.com because someone checked-in at his grave -_- -_- -_- -_-
Google also tells me he was a former Qing Dynasty official.

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Skort from Bangkok.

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I brought the heels & left them in the car, wearing sandals to take the pictures. 
Not crazy enough to climb around in heels.

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OOH GIRL YOU NASTY. AND YOUR BUTT IS TASTY.

I actually wanted to Act Yi Ge fashion blogger & just post outfit photos with some of the surroundings & no words so I would look cool but... I can't do it. I always have nonsense to say one way or another. And I don't channel that "cool" vibe hahaha #fail.
21 comments on "Bukit Brown Cemetery"
  1. Hahaha, the caption for the last photo made me spew my juice out. So unexpected!!

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  2. Great post, I like all the thoughts you provide. It ads to the appreciation when you get to read more about what is going on.

    That grave does look pretty cool. And that sign is informative, but not a very impressive presentation.

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  3. I love your outfit! Its actually simple outfit but you pull it off!!:)
    I thought, wow did she seriously go around the grave in heels, turns out you bring sandals. LOL
    Such an interesting assignment, too bad i don't have sociology subject.:(

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  4. The mini-tombstone is a guardian God to guard the grave.

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  5. Monkey : Dont take photos lehh, we having monkey business here, very paiseh leh. HAHAHA

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  6. Anonymous10:11 PM

    福神probably refers to some fortune god. I'm not exactly into buddhism so I don't really know much. Perhaps Google may help?

    Also, honestly I have never seen the two chinese characters in temples before so I would think it's part of a grave side 'decoration' (not sure what is the right word). It's sad that the authorities are going to exhume the graves at bukit brown too for development of the area.

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  7. The inscription of the mini tombstone says "God of fortune" so ppl must be praying to it for wealth I guess :3

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  8. Anonymous11:40 PM

    I think it is worth noting that most of these graves are more taoist than buddhist. the mini grave is for the tu di gong (the local god).

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  9. Anonymous12:44 AM

    Hi Sophie,

    Mind sharing where you got your pair of white heels from? It's really pretty. Thanks!!!

    (:

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  10. Anonymous1:28 AM

    Hello where are your heels from? Thank you! :)

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  11. Anonymous3:03 AM

    LOL @ the last part. You just had to xD.

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  12. It is ridiculous that you weren't allowed to use the photos from the Buddhist cemetery. One can be whatever race they are and be any faith they wish to be. I don't know if you are religious at all but I am an atheist and by virtue of that alone I should be able to take pictures of any kind of religion. If I were you I would definitely argue against the narrow-minded racism of your professor.

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  13. Your heels are gorgeous! The monkeys are disgusting HAHA I totally lost my appetite. :(

    Lovely post! We were learning about Bukit Brown in Social Studies last week, & I really want to visit it now.

    voguishdesires.blogspot.com

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  14. Anonymous6:20 AM

    Still.. we love your nonsense-ness.. :D

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  15. hahaha that was hilarious and i love love love your cute little outfit! kudos to your nicely done ballerina bun too! :)

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  16. Anonymous4:41 PM

    hi, just wanted to know where you get your heels from?

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  17. Heels are from Jipaban! (online store so Google it!)

    Some of you left comments (didn't publish them) about how I should have been allowed to do it & yep well...
    Like someone said, some of the grave features are actually Taoist (I know nothing about Taoism) but well, as long as it has anything to do with being Chinese then cannot :( So Chinese = Buddhist, Taoist, etc. But well, can't do much if the prof just doesn't want that!

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  18. LOL at the last part!
    Interesting post though
    skinformulae.blogspot.com

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  19. Anonymous6:36 PM

    What are your usual shoe size from Charles and Kieth Sophie?

    And care to measure your length of your feet?

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  20. Anonymous10:37 PM

    Actually it's more to Chinese traditional, be it Tao-ism or Buddhism. Christians do have grave too but they offered flower instead of foods like Tao-ism and Buddhism. :)

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  21. Anonymous6:10 PM

    Buddhists generally cremate, so yeap. Most of these tome stones are just either for free thinkers or Taoists. Also, Buddhists won't offer meat at all, but only flowers, fruits and incense.

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