Local authorities dig up dead body, force cremation
In a village administered by the northeastern city if Harbin, body of an old lady was dug up by the local department of civil affairs and sent to crematorium to be reduced to ashes about 70 days after she was buried. Her family did get an ultimatum demanding them to dig up the body, but it was still two days before the time allotted ran out. The civil affairs officials, when reached for comment, said, “Now the temperature is dropping. We were afraid that the body might be frozen, so we acted two days earlier.”
The empty coffin
Na Yulan is the third daughter of the old lady. She said that her mother passed away on August 27 at age 76. “Both my parents had been living in this village for all their lives. My father died in 2006 and was buried in the village’s cemetery. My mother wished to be buried together with my father, so we complied with her wish.” After Na Yulan buried her mother on August 30, she returned to her home in another town.
“In early November, I got a phone call from my elder sister saying that the Ahcheng District Bureau of Civil Affairs had issued a directive demanding us to dig up our mother’s body, cremate it and pay the 5,000 yuan fine before November 18,” said Na Yulan. She said she has six siblings, most of whom live far away. They all hurried over and tried to get it done before the deadline, but when they were still on their way, they got the phone call from their elder sister that the grave was already disinterred.
“Look, that is the cover of my mother’s coffin…” Na Yulan plopped down in front of the grave and burst into tears.
Neo-Confucianism under Zhu Xi strongly discourages cremation of one’s parents’ corpses as unfilial. But the atheist Communist party enforces a strict cremation policy on Han Chinese.
Selected comments from NetEase
网易福建省福州市手机网友Awesome, really awesome. Everybody, don’t die. You cannot afford to die.
网易甘肃省甘南州手机网友Watch out for karma.
They don’t take medical system seriously, because they have cadres’ wards. They don’t take education seriously, because their kids study abroad. They don’t take food safety seriously, because they have special food supply. They don’t take traffic congestion seriously, because when they go out they have military vehicles as motorcade. They don’t take the country’s future seriously, because their wives and children have already emigrated to the United States. They take stability maintenance seriously, because they are afraid to lose these things. They are our leaders! They can make enough purchases to let private jets in the world go out of stock, but they cannot buy a school bus. They can send an artificial satellite into space, but they cannot build a small bridge. They can squander billions on other countries, but they refuse to build a few more elementary schools. They can chow down lavish food worth dozens of aircraft carriers, but they force children to donate their lunch money. This is really what we call “garnering resources all over China, catering to big shots, despite difficulties of 1.3 billion people, making only a few happy.” I am speechless. I can only feign a smile. Did the school bus accident of the kindergarten in Gansu province kill lives, or popular support?
网易辽宁省锦州市网友 [为天行道]The formulation and implementation of the state policies represents most people’s interests. The state cannot change its policy for a small fraction of people. Never. In addition, whether a policy implemented is good is not decided by a small fraction of people that say no. It depends on whether the policy is conducive to the people and their offspring. Let’s just look at burning paper money on Chinese New Year’s eve, on the Ghost Festival or on the anniversary of death. It turns each corner of the city into pitch dark. If you are not filial when they were alive, or do not support them when they turned old, why do you bother to pretend you care after they died? Stop quibbling. The state policy was not formulated for your sake. The state policy is the state law. No one can touch it.
网易北京市网友 [laughing116] 的原贴：(in reply to the previous comment)Bro, you know only one aspect of it. Cremation or direct burial of the body are the same. They don’t care about the land area occupied. They give you no other option but cremation. They only care about making money from cremation. Please, what is the purpose of this kind of policy? Is it really like what you said?
虎林漫步 [网易辽宁省抚顺市网友]：(in reply to the previous comment)What do you know? Cremation is for better management, to group ashes in one cemetery. Burial of the bodies usually occurs in ancestral graves, and they are scattered around. Tombs everywhere. Now the mountainous area in the city has improved a lot. A grave mound is hardly seen, because bodies are all in cemeteries after they are cremated. But look at remote rural villages. As long as there is a mountain, there will be grave mounds. Everywhere. If this goes on like this, there will be graves covering the entire mountains. Do you wish to see that?
飞跃梦想梦想飞跃 [网易陕西省西安市网友]Every day after I wake up, the first things I do are grab a chair to sit on and unfold the day’s morning paper to see if there is any news story on real estate developers, heads of CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation), CPCC (China Petroleum Chemical Corporation) and CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corp) committing suicide!!!!!!
网易北京市网友 [laughing116] 的原贴：Those who dug up people’s graves should be struck by lightning and split into two halves. How to treat the body should depend on the will of the deceased. Forcing cremation is a denial of human rights.
网易浙江省杭州市网友 [近之] 的原贴：Why is burial uncivilized??? Why is it old school??? My family, for generations, have been practicing burial. And yours too. I watch foreign news. American troops, policemen in Hong Kong, and in England…They were all buried. I am not saying they represent civilization. But cremation does??? Cremation is all about fees charged by someone. If any of my ancestor were dug up, I will definitely send the dead body of my ancestor with my clansmen. Gotta make something big.
zzhangyingju [网易山东省潍坊市网友]Whom should the blame be placed on? Burial is illegal in the first place. And someone informed on them. If the bureau of civil affairs didn’t step in, wouldn’t that be malfeasance?
conniedxy [网易新西兰网友]To the spirit and soul of the old lady, do haunt and torture those beasts that are greedy, corrupt, inept, and know nothing but how to bully ordinary people!When you are going to be reincarnated in a new body later, be sure that you don’t end up in this country!
网易广东省深圳市福田区网友 [一個人的戰鬥] 的原贴：Since when have the north-easterners become so heartless? Guess what would happen next if this occurred in the south!
vess0 [网易福建省泉州市手机网友]The cremated remains are still going to be buried in the ground, aren’t they? The thing is, the bureau of civil affairs would have no money going into their pockets.
网易广东省佛山市手机网友Is it because the bureau of civil affairs didn’t receive a red envelope (bribe)?
网易湖北省荆门市网友Heartless and bestial deeds. Should have been punished!