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Online mourning gains popularity

MANY Chinese took part in the traditional tomb-sweeping activities for the Qingming Festival on Saturday but increasingly more people are commemorating deceased family members or national heroes via the Internet.

On Saturday blogger Xiyuanpiaoxue ("Drifting Snow in the Western Yard") recalled her family's tomb-sweeping stories from 2002, when her grandfather died. But the blogger said family members stopped visiting the tombs this year when they set up the mourning blog.

On the blog she posted five portraits of her grandparents and four pictures from her family's tomb-sweeping activities.

At an online memorial for victims of the earthquake that jolted Sichuan Province and surrounding areas on May 12 last year (, Gao Jianming wrote: "The Qingming Festival arrives and I can't suppress my sadness. I had believed that sorrow could gradually fade out but I finally realized that I still miss you so much, my folks! Wish you all OK there and I will never forget about you!"

There have been increasing calls for different forms of remembering the dead in this populous country, including presenting fresh flowers or planting trees instead of burning paper money.

Jinbaoshan Memorial Park in Kunming, Yunnan Province in southwest China, held a concert on Saturday, attracting many mourners.

Mourner Ruan Yaowen volunteered to sing "The Moon Represents My Heart" for his grandfather who is buried in the cemetery.

"It was his favorite song. I hope he can hear it," she said. "Holding a concert is unique and more meaningful. People always felt sorrow and depressed. Some cried badly and some even got sick. But I'm quite relaxed this time."

The Central Civilization Office of the Communist Party of China also launched a Website on March 26 to encourage people to pay respects to fallen revolutionary heroes online.

The Website,, have received more than 3 million visitors as of Saturday and 220,000 of them left comments.


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