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December 1, 2012

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Cemeteries try new ways to save space

CEMETERIES are trying new eco-friendly and technology-oriented burial methods to convince people to forsake interment in the ground and save space.

One option is started by Fushou Cemetery in Qingpu District and involves embedding a small display panel on the front of the space holding the ashes to show the life of the decreased.

"The practice is to save scarce land resources by advocating a vertical tomb," said Wu Yibo, an official with Fushou Cemetery.

The multimedia option costs 20,000 yuan (US$3,210) to 40,000 yuan. About 100 people have applied for this interment.

Another option is offered at Songhe Cemetery in Jiading District. Urns made of biodegradable material are buried in the ground and the plot is reused every 10 years. This option costs 3,800 yuan.

Other methods promoted earlier include sea burials and burial beneath trees.

Discouraging ground burial is a challenge because ground burials are important in Chinese culture. Some believe burying urns with the ashes renders the souls of the deceased immortal.


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