March 20, 2012

Another Wuchuan Grave

For Taphophile Tragics today I am showing you another grave located in Wuchuan in southern Guangdong. 

We were walking right in the center of the old part of town along a roadway too narrow for motor vehicles larger than small motorbikes when we stumbled upon this:

 Wuchuan, 2012

Looking slightly more to the left here you can see parts of more recently built six-story apartments (tallest buildings erected without elevators):


Reading the grave marker, again red characters on black stone, we learned that this too was a rebuilt grave. Here's a rough translation of what it says:

Pong Xi County Tung Grave
built in 2007 by grandchildren of grandmother Yee Ran
who was Wife #1 of Tung Pei Gong, 12th generation Tung

There is, unfortunately, no indication of time or place of his first wife's birth or death. The last line on the grave, of course, is a clear sign that Mr Tung had concubines, and that would then reveal that she lived pre-1949, as Mao Zedong tried to eradicate this feudal custom. 


We continued down the street to the right of the grave and within minutes came out to this spot that shows quite well the mix of old, new, urban and rural, all in close proximity.

29 comments:

Traveling Hawk said...

These countries are all an amazing mix of old and new, and they all struggle now to perpetuate their tradition. Interesting photos!

joo said...

Fascinating post Francisca! Where have you been for such a long time? You were missed here!
Hugs
J.

Vicki/Jake said...

Glad you're back, even if for a short one...
This reminds me of my trip to Boston (USA). Among the high rising modern things would be a cemetary with headstones dating in the 15 and 16 hundreds. Awesome how someone pays love and respect to family members amid such progress in China. And sad how life as built up around their resting places. Just think of how many are there and not marked...

As for your question about blogger's asinine changes..I got no clue:) Be safe and let us know of all the fun you're having...

Julie said...

This is as though you have allowed me to peep behind a curtain, Francisca. That final image is such a rich tapestry of an urban landscape, and the land so apparently fertile if the green of the vegetation is anything to go by.

There is a distinct similarity between this marker and the one you showed last week. Both are ... umm ... pugnacious. Not delicate, nor feminine, nor artistic. But more 'here I am. Like it or lump it'.

I love the jaunty walking style of the fellow in your first image. I suspect the two plates of vegetables weighed a fair bit, and he does appear to be in a hurry to get from A to B.

Thank you for this contribution to Taphophile Tragics. I am so glad that you and your honey are back from behind the silk curtain for this little while.

Bugger blogger ...

Kay L. Davies said...

Yes, this is fascinating, Francisca, and such a great addition to Julie's Taphophile meme, as well as educational for the rest of us. I love the contrast between the urban and the rural.
K

Kate said...

Different cultures have much to teach us about blending the old and the new, the past and the present.

Andrea said...

Hello Francisca, i assume you were able to already analyze the best time for posting where you can easily push through. Your posts remind me of my first visit to Fujian, which i really labored to join because i had the chance to stay with a real Chinese family. That was 1990. My Chinese housemate will be transferring to the US and her father (full Chinese) wants his daughter to see her relatives first, so i joined them. They have a 4-story stone house where all families live. We also slept in beautiful beds with full Chinese red decors together with the portable ceramic pee-basin, which i can't use. It is too uncomfortable for me knowing someone will be hauling it down from the 4th floor. The more 'modern' toilet, that we used is in another house where the water closet is at the back above you, so i stand first before pulling the string to flush, hahaha! I am afraid the whole assembly will fall on me.

From the group tour we joined there, 4 of us Pinoys separate sometimes from the group, at my request, to visit the real sites where the real Chinese converge unlike the Friendship Stores where the guides bring us to. Those used by the locals have different atmosphere and i had the chance to observe the difference, culture and actual situation. I just can't appreciate the condition of the narrow stairways, with lots of you know what!

Ann said...

So unusual. I've never seen a grave amongst houses like that before. I'm fascinated by all the different traditions around the world.

hamilton said...

I find these grave sites to be rather lonely looking.

Susan said...

Yay, your voice from China. I may have missed earlier posts, I'll have to check back. Graves in the middle of streets, so interesting.
I love seeing the world thru you. I so long to travel but don't know how to do so and make money. Yah.
Hope all is well.

Kaori said...

It looks like a really large grave, compared to our Japanese ones, so it must pay to be the #1 wife :)

Shooting Parrots said...

Like the poor, the dead are always with us. Is that grave made out of metal? It looks like rust I can see.

Incidentally,I tried visiting the anti word verification site in your sidebar, but my security program intervened saying it was a dangerous site.

FrankandMary said...

I read a grave marker that said: I love him more now.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Do we assume that this grave is on Tung land, presumably including the brick building behind the grave? You do wonder if the grandmother was re-interred here or just memorialized. And where is her husband? Lots of questions about a culture I do not know. I like the photo of the man carrying goods from the field. This traditional way of carrying heavy things must be thousands of years old. Remarkable.

La Principessa Errante said...

These are so absolutely fascinating.

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

Amazing history that you can learn from cemeteries. I'm very impressed! The picture of the man carrying the load on his shoulders looks like something from another century; tells so much about what it's like there.

VioletSky said...

I would also find it odd to see these graves set in so much cement. Maybe I am just used to seeing grass all around - and over - ours.

Sondra said...

I great mix of old and new there, seems to blend well. I was going to say how weird it is to have a grave right in town,....but then realized its common, here in our town are tombs in parks, and in the town common...but mostly there were War heroes or town founders...NICE to see ordinary people can be laid to rest on prime real estate too!!

Francisca said...

I see what you mean about the "rust" but no, these graves are made of ordinary concrete. Not pretty.

I used the link to go to the word verification information site and there does seem to be an unwanted linked image there that may be triggering your AV program. I left a message for her.

Francisca said...

Yes, the grave would have to be on land owned by the Tung family, but although I would also guess that includes the building nearby, I can't say for certain. It would be more typical that she was originally buried there and the town was built around her and then the family built a "nicer" grave for her. I'll let you know if I ever find the husband.

Maybe one day I'll post a series of photos of pole carriers. Carrier poles are still very much in use here. Interesting that you all see a male. This is a woman carrying her fresh vegetables to market.

Shooting Parrots said...

I had another look at the photos and though they look like rust stains, I guess they may have come from the brick work.

I have been on the ant word verification site without any problem and I reported it to Virgin Media security for review. Perhaps it is the subject matter!

H said...

Pole carriers look useful but I would want a good wad of padding across the top of my shoulder.

That last photo is wonderful. It shows a real mish-mash of styles all jumbled together. What character!

Deb said...

What an interesting post, the first two photos are indeed worth a thousand words. I was suprised that the burial took place in 2007, I expected it was going to be much older. A touching memorial to a much loved Grandmother by grandchildren proud of their heritage as a minority group.

LadyFi said...

What an unusual location for a grave. Wonderful shots.

☆☆Mumsy said...

That's fascinating to see a grave from years ago in the middle of progress. Hope you are well!

Ann said...

we got ESP? I posted a photo of an old arm chair chinese grave. quite like yours.

EG CameraGirl said...

How interesting to see how some of the past is still very much "alive" in the 21st century.

Gene said...

Love seeing glimpses into other cultures. The first shot is perfect. It reminds me of visiting China in 1987.

Pat Tillett said...

Great post Francisca! Very interesting. The mix of old and new is overwhelming.