The Chinese government is encouraging citizens to have digital funerals. Due to lack of space in cemeteries, families have the option of commemorating their loved ones with a special plaque with a QR code. What does an unusual burial look like?
In China’s huge cities, land is becoming absurdly expensive, and there is still very little space to build new buildings. In the face of the current crisis, the Chinese authorities have come up with a surprising proposition for ordinary citizens – digital funerals of the deceased.
China has no place to bury the dead – the state encourages digital funerals
After the death of a loved one in China, cremation is one of the most popular burial methods, although traditional funerals can still play an important role in the religious rites of citizens. However, finding a place to bury the body is almost impossible and costs a lot of money. An average Chinese person can spend up to 45% on a traditional burial. their annual earnings. The global average is approximately 10 percent.
This problem is only deepened by the multitude of local urbanization initiatives and the huge number of older people in society. The number of dead is increasing and the land is not increasing. Moreover, the Beijing authorities want to reduce the area occupied by city cemeteries by as much as 70 percent by 2035.
However, the managers of the huge metropolis do not leave the citizens without an alternative. Digital funerals are supposed to be a solution to many problems at the same time.
Digital funerals in China
Digital burials are offered by, among others: Beijing Taiziyu Cemetery. Physically, they are small containers for urns with ashes, which also have built-in displays – they can show various materials, most often videos showing the deceased in life. Since the beginning of 2023, over 500 such places have already been purchased. The fee for such a burial is approximately one third of the price of a traditional funeral at the same cemetery.
Shanghai offers completely digitized funerals. Some time ago, a digital mausoleum of Fu Shou Yuan was opened in the city. It allows you to hold a funeral completely online – a virtual “island” is created for your loved ones, where, among others, they will display: photos, videos or favorite songs of the deceased.
Another option for a digital funeral is the so-called green burial. As part of this service, the ashes are buried without a tombstone or mausoleum space. However, loved ones receive a commemorative plaque with data and a QR code. This can be scanned to provide more information about the funeral and the deceased. The great advantage of a “green burial” is that it is completely free. Alternatively, the ashes may be released, as local authorities also strongly encourage citizens to scatter their ashes at sea.