Category Archives: Asia

Chinese Memorials

Chinese cemeteries are usually located on a hillside according to Feng Shui practice.


Statues found at the gates of Chinese cemeteries or guarding a grave, are Guardians of Buddah. They are known by many names: Imperial Guardian Lion, Shih Tzu of Fo, Lion dogs or Foo Dogs and are displayed in pairs. The male, sitting on the right rests his paw on an embroidered ball, which signifies the authority of man in the world and is represented as Yang. Yin is manifested to the left in the female who restrains a kitten. She represents the nurture of offspring.



In the past, many gravestones in China were in the form of an armchair which represents authority and wealth. Expense, management of land and promotion of cremation by the government has made this form of gravestone less common.


The National Environmental Agency has an exhumation policy which limits the number of years a body can lay in the grave. After 15 years bodies are exhumed to make way for new burials. Bodies not claimed before exhumation are destroyed.

A Chinese gravestone usually has at least three columns of characters. The size of the writing indicates the relative importance of the information. The writing in the middle column showing the name of the deceased tends to be larger than that on the side columns. Most gravestones have the family name first followed by given names. Information relating the date and place of birth and age of the deceased is inscribed on the right hand side (east) and the date and time of death is found on the left (west).
Milton_Evergreen_Yee soo joe Chinese


Qingming Festival in Singapore is also known as Grave Sweeping day. Chinese families honor the dead by cleaning family graves and burn offerings to appease the dead in the afterlife.



Chinese & Japanese Gardens, Chinese Garden Road, Singapore

Representing two cultures of contrasting architectures, these gardens are set on adjacent islands in Jurong Lake linked by the Bridge of Double Beauty.

The Japanese Garden embraces classical Zen rock gardens, traditional summer houses, stone lanterns and gilded arched bridges. Plain and serene, it is intended to evoke feeling. Marble-chip paths let you hear your own footsteps and meditate on the sound.

The Chinese Garden features twin pagodas, arched bridges, pavilions, rockeries and a bonsai garden. Brightly colored buildings are integrated with the surroundings.

The statue of Confucius is located in the Chinese Gardens. Parents bring their children to the statue to pray as this is thought to bring filial piety and good grades at school.

Statue of Confucius
Statue of Confucius

The sayings of Confucius:
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.

Study the past if you would define the future.

We should keep the dead before our eyes, and honor them as though still living.

“The Master said, At fifteen I set my heart upon learning.
At thirty, I had planted my feet firm upon the ground.
At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities.
At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven.
At sixty, I heard them with docile ear.
At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.”