Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Volunteering at Bukit Brown Cemetery Again and the Significance of 皇清 on Tombstones

It was a breezy Saturday morning at 9am and instead of lazing on my bed as i usually do on weekends, i was already standing right in front of the ancient gates of Bukit Brown Cemetery!

Our destination today was once again, a place i would unlikely venture to without proper guidance. See that red circle? That's where we were supposed to go and it was so deep in! 

The 'landmarks' would have to be these two Guanyin statues. Walk further in and you would reach the place where the four of us would be toiling our morning away. 

When i saw the patch of overgrown shrubs ahead of me, i thought it would not take too long for us to clear the area and i would likely be able to get back home comfortably by 12 noon.

Sadly, the facade was so deceiving! It was a few meters deep and after 30 minutes of hard labour, i honestly felt it was a mammoth task that bordered on the fringe of impossibility! 

Time to rest and enjoy the surrounding scenery!

After another 1 hour of continuous chopping, sawing and snipping, we managed to uncover more tombstones in lines of two at the back. Was this a cluster burial? There was also something very intriguing; the two words 皇清 on positions that would normally indicate the hometown of the deceased.

Ee-hoon called her friend to check out the tombs and before long, he came equipped with his trusty notebook, camera and chalk to record the newly exposed findings.

The chalk helped a lot to clarify the words! Anyway, i just checked the internet and there was in fact a post on the two words i mentioned earlier (in Chinese though; click here if you are interested). I was under the assumption 皇清 referred to the royal descendants of the deposed Qing dynasty but according to the post, it merely meant the citizens of the Qing dynasty. 

Anyway, it was another round of clearing and boy did we manage to clear a lot! To me, i thought this was way better than gym and in a way, more meaningful.

Found a liana that was shaped like a snake; my ultimate nemesis! It was so freaky to see it "bleeding" when i severed it. If it was a real snake, you would me scrambling far far away! 

More tombstones at the back! 

Ee-hoon striking a post! She loves to take our photographs even though we are very camera shy people and it was payback time! Not that it mattered much to her since she is a very sporty person.

Contrast this to the original picture i posted in the beginning of this post. Look so different right?!?!!? This was not even the "done" picture as I had to leave earlier due to a prior agreement to return home by 12 noon to return the car! The rest actually continued for another one more hour, i heard. 

Their commitment is really quite remarkable!

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Location of Tombs
Block 4, Division C

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:59 AM

    hey there! do you guys still need volunteers? if yes how can i sign up? :) geekulture[at]yahoo[dot]com[dot]sg

    ReplyDelete

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