Dear ancestral home, I’m back! Day 2 (Tomb sweeping 清明節, 掃墓)

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April 6, 2012

After breakfast at the hotel, we had tea with dad’s friend. It was cool because I was able to see how they prepare the tea. The first batch was used to wash the cups, and then we were given the second batch. Mom said that the tea they served us was expensive/high quality tea. Ooh! That’s probably why I liked its taste/flavor. It was different from the teas I’ve drank before. Then, my cousin fetched us and we went to my uncle’s house. My other uncle and cousins arrived, I suggested we take a group picture, and then we headed to the cemetery for the tomb sweeping ceremony. My great-grandpa, grandpa, and grandma are all buried in the same place. It was also my first time to see a cemetery like that. You had to walk through mountainous-y road (?) to get there. I think that cemetery is also one of the oldest in the place, because in the newer cemeteries, the bodies are cremated (I dunno if this goes for everyone though) and put in jars, and then these are placed in small cabinets. From what I heard, it’s because the government does not want to use up a lot of their land space for cemeteries so this way, they can save space. There are also cemeteries where they give you your own plot for the deceased but unless you’re really really rich, you won’t be able to afford it.

After that, we ate lunch at this restaurant (yummy food I might add), went to the tomb of another uncle (whose ashes are placed in one of those cabinets), and then my parents and I went to Kaiyuan Temple 開元寺 (separate blog post).

I’m so happy to meet a lot of my relatives from my father’s side. I don’t even remember meeting them the last time I was in China. I’ve only been there once, back when I was in 6th grade, so yeah, I don’t remember their faces. It’s good that at least now, I have a camera to capture such moments.

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