“Moderation in Burials,” 21st Century Version
The Mohist doctrine of “Moderation in Burial” seems to be winning converts among officials in China these days.
The New York Times reports that “After a quarter of a century in which the gap between rich and poor has steadily widened, the wretched excesses of the affluent are increasingly a Chinese government concern.”
“Ostentatious tombs are particularly irksome…because many Chinese find even a simple grave marker beyond their means. In a coinage that captures the widespread frustration, someone struggling to afford burial costs is called a ‘grave slave.'”
Last month in Wenling, south of Shanghai, “Five brothers commandeered the grounds of a high school to bid their mother goodbye with pomp befitting a state funeral. Thousands of onlookers watched a ceremony that featured nine flower-decked limousines, a uniformed band and a 16-gun salute. One brother told reporters that his mother wanted to be buried with ‘face.'”
The lavish ceremony prompted the local government to enforce a regulation against funeral “extravagance and waste.”
Full story here.