Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More Chinese mourn online on traditional tomb-sweeping day

Although many Chinese still maintained the traditional ways to commemorate late family members or national heroes, more people expressed condolences via the Internet Saturday, China's Tomb-Sweeping Festival.

Xiyuanpiaoxue (drifting snow in the western yard) released an article in her blog Saturday, recalling some tomb-sweeping stories about her family since 2002, when his grandfather died.

The blogger said family members did not stop visiting the tombs of their late relatives over the past years until this year, when they set up the mourning blog.

Five old portraits of her grandparents and four pictures about a family tomb-sweeping activity were also posted on the blog.

At an online memorial for the May 12 earthquake that jolted Sichuan Province and some surrounding regions last year, a netizen named Gao Jianming said "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 good there and I will never forget about you!" said Gao in a note left on the webpage of www.dizhen5.12.netor.com.

Callings for the adoption of more civilized mourning methods have been on the rise in the populous country, including presenting fresh flowers or planting trees instead of burning paper money to the dead.

In an article published at www.rednet.com Saturday, Zhang Tieying complained about the terrible traffic jam and the mess-up due to massive burning of paper money in a cemetery during the festival over the past years.

The writer called upon modern Chinese to adopt better ways to show respect to ancestors so that people could enjoy a peace and clean environment.

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

The aim is not only to bring a power of art, but also introduce an innovative method that is healthy and causes no damage to environment, said Zeng Hongyu, designer of the musical performance.

Ruan Yaowen, a visitor, volunteered to sing "the moon represents my heart" for his late grandfather 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," Ruan said. "People always felt sorrow and depressed. Some cried badly and some even got sick. But I'm quite relaxed this time."

In Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, a Qingming-themed cultural festival attracted more than 10,000 visitors on the first day of the nine-day activity.

Calligraphy exhibitions, food sales, performances of ancient emperor worship, an ancient soccer games "helped us to better understand the history and cultural background of ancient tomb-sweeping," said Ji Wei, a tourist from Pingdingshan City in Henan.

More than 5,200 people presented virtual flowers, alcohol, and ignited candles via a website to family members who fought and died during a war in Shandong Province in 1948, a year before the People's Republic of China was founded.

"You bestowed a happy life to us. You will always live in our minds," said Liu Chongshi, a 11-year-old boy, said in the forum of the www.jinanzhanyi.com.

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, www.wenming.cn/wmdjr/qm.htm, have received more than 3 million visitors as of Saturday and 220,000 of them left comments.

"The spirit of the martyrs encourage us to work hard. We will pay back our parents, teachers and the great motherland," said Wang Zhibin of a primary school in Xinxiang City of Henan.

A survey initiated by the www.people.com.cn showed that 12.3 percent of 301 netizens prefer online mourning during the traditional festival, while 53.8 percent said they will return to the hometown to visit tombs of ancestors as of Saturday.

No comments: