Monday, October 10, 2016

Filial Piety on Chung Yeung (重陽)

If filial piety is measured by how many times one goes to cemeteries for grave sweeping, then I should probably rank fairly high.  In the past 2 days, I have paid my respects at the graves of my paternal grand parents, my maternal grandparents, and my wife’s grandfather.  And I have been to 3 different cemeteries: Aberdeen, Tsuen Wan and Junk Bay.  Although, to be honest, the last one I skirted only while hiking.  

Grave sweeping is a great tradition.  It reminds us of our ancestral roots and that we should honour our parents while they are with us.  It strengthens our bonding with our relatives and social cohesion in general, …  

However, I noticed that there are many graves in these cemeteries that obviously have not been attended to for quite some time.  There are still plenty of us who are doing what we can to maintain this great tradition.  However, the reality is that it is becoming harder and harder to do so.  

To start with, many people have moved away from Hong Kong.  I also reckon that between my wife and myself, we have 2 sets of parents and 4 sets of grandparents.  When people have fewer and fewer children, there will be fewer and fewer of us to take care of the graves.  What is going to happen to this great tradition?  What is going to happen to the larger and larger number of graves? 

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