Return to Nature? Secularism and Politics of Death Space in Hong Kong

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeath Across Cultures
Subtitle of host publicationDeath and Dying in Non-Western Cultures
EditorsHelaine Selin, Robert M. Rakoff
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Pages57-74
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-18826-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-18825-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameScience Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Science
Volume9
ISSN (Print)1568-2145
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1761

Abstract

This chapter examines the politics of death space in Hong Kong. It explains the shrinkage of death time and space over the past few decades, and highlights the newest debates on the shortage of urn spaces for the interment of human cremains. In order to reduce the pressure on land resources for accommodating the dead, the government since the late 2000s has put in great efforts to promote sea burial, which requires no land space. Yet, Hong Kong Chinese, who still practice ancestral worship and carry on with the tradition of grave-sweeping, are yet to consider this as an appropriate way to handle ancestors’ ashes. The chapter will provide a description of the major change in Hong Kong’s death management since the mid-1950s and show how death space politics has been part of the overall land politics which evolves together with the uncertainty of Hong Kong’s political future.

Research Area(s)

  • Death space politics, Cremation, Sea burial, Ancestral worship

Citation Format(s)

Return to Nature? Secularism and Politics of Death Space in Hong Kong. / Chan, Yuk Wah.

Death Across Cultures: Death and Dying in Non-Western Cultures. ed. / Helaine Selin; Robert M. Rakoff. Springer Nature Switzerland AG, 2019. p. 57-74 (Science Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Science; Vol. 9).

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review