Some graves have images of those who have been laid to rest.
Officially opened on New Year's Day in 1922, Bukit Brown Cemetery was the final resting place for many members of the Chinese community in Singapore. The cemetery is an expansive and verdant space covering an area of about 213 acres. When the cemetery closed in 1973, it contained approximately 100,000 tombs. The oldest grave in Bukit Brown Cemetery dates back to 1833 (source).
Guarding a tomb.
A damaged tomb, covered in overgrowth.
It is not just a place for the dead to rest; the living make good use of the beautiful cemetery as well. Bukit Brown Cemetery is a quiet place perfect for clearing your head and heart. The roads winding through the cemetery are ideal for runners or for those wishing to take a relaxing stroll. Because the trees form such a dense canopy in some parts of the cemetery, the temperature feels much cooler than if you were on a normal city street. And if you love to bird-watch, bring your binoculars. It is home to some of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen.
A marker in the ground, possibly a plot or row number?
The gate to the cemetery remains open...for now.
Singapore is developing at breakneck speed, moving forward in every area possible with the potential for growth. And although progress and looking towards the future are important things for a country, I can't help but wonder if enough people here are concerned with the country's past.
According to this page, 21 cemeteries have been closed and more than 120,000 tombs and graves have been exhumed since 1985. There are lots of other things besides dead people in a cemetery. Cemeteries like Bukit Brown are homes to all types of wild flora and fauna. They are places for people to walk, exercise, relax and of course, to connect with their past. Cemeteries are places of history and importance, reminders of what once was. It's a shame that Bukit Brown Cemetery won't be around for much longer. After all, in order to know where you're going, you need to know where you came from.