Monday 2011-08-15

During Ghost Month or Hell Month in Singapore, you get to see the following public temporary offertoria where people bring things to burn to send to their deceased relatives. In the local version of afterlife, you keep on living like you live now, so relatives burn money to send it to you so you can buy food or other things you need. In the photo, you can see food and other items offered in the lower right hand corner, with a mass of hell money strewn about that didn't get burned.

So why is it called Hell Money? The story is that way back when English - Chinese relations were being set up, the Chinese explained the offertoria and afterlife ideas to an Anglican priest, trying to get the English translations for their ideas. And when they asked him about the afterworld, 'where are our relatives?', the priest said they were all in hell.

my mum says relatives should burn everything and leave none behind. The mess is just inconsiderate, but i guess part of job creation to spur economy? :P -al