April 2, 2012

Roadside Memorial in Laos

Today I may be stretching the definition of taphophilia. Yet I feel these Lao memorials on a narrow but well-traveled road somewhere up in the hills between Vang Vieng and Vientienne are a special enough tribute to the dear departed to include in the Taphophile Tragics meme.

Memorials beside the highway to those killed in auto accidents are sadly not uncommon.  But have you ever seen this many on one spot?

 Laos, 2002

While the place was some distance from any residential area, we can see there are regular visitors. The incense in the small memorial altar was burning.


I'm only guessing that this is the curve in the road that causes the fatalities.


(Again my 2002 digital photos are grainy and my photography skills unimpressive. Rather than rotate and crop out large areas of this last image, I wanted to keep the detail and only rotated for a straight view.)

24 comments:

Pat Tillett said...

U.S. Indian reservation roads also have many roadside memorials. Nothing as elaborate as this, but still a reminder...

cieldequimper said...

Crikey, I've never seen so many on US Indian rezs...

Traveling Hawk said...

It's impressive, indeed!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Incredible gathering of memorials by the roadside! Each seems like a little decorative stand with various styles of mini architecture on top!

Natasha von Geldern said...

I have a photo of some similar memorials from the south of Laos. I think mine are even non-digital photos!

Sciarada said...

Ciao Francisca, makes an impression, they there are indeed numerous, very intersting shots!
Have a good day!

Kaori said...

That is so sad. But it is good to know that people do not forget them.

Susan said...

I'd say that's a good corner to avoid, or apply brakes and inch along. Love seeing your captures from this great big world. Hope all is well.

Francisca said...

Natasha, I saw that... it is what brought me to your interesting blog... I was looking for information about the designs of these memorials... they look just like the grave markers in Laos. I will post some in future. :-)

Julie said...

This is a wonderful collection, Francisca. As you say, roadside memorials are all too common here in Australia, too, although they are nowhere near as elaborate as your collection. I posit that the varity and quality of the collection is enough to spark a road accident of its own accord.

H said...

The memorials are very elaborate. Over here, they tend to consist of bunches of fading flowers tied onto trees, railings or lamp-posts. Sad all round.

Deb said...

Goodness, that is quite a collection, a roadside shrine almost.

NixBlog said...

Very interesting post and certainly worthy of inclusion in the TT meme, IMHO.We often see such tributes to road accident victims here in Australia, but nothing as elaborate as these. USually bunches of flowers (Plastic) and maybe a wooden cross with RIP on it.

hamilton said...

I am not sure what they could do to the road to make it safer - but I also think this memorial must be an added distraction.

Ann said...

Fascinating and beautiful. Haven't seen anthing like these before. Am going to Laos later this year, will keep my eyes open.

Sondra said...

That is dead mans curve for sure! I see many such memorials along the roadsides here but its usually a simple cross with a name...those are quite elaborate.

VioletSky said...

I count more than a dozen of these markers!
I am not sure I would want to return to where my loved one perished, but these people obviously find some comfort in doing so.

CaT said...

that is sad..
but they are pretty! is this a common marker for that?
are there names, or anything else?

Francisca said...

CaT, these memorial markers are smaller versions of what I saw in Lao cemeteries. I did not see any names/writing on any of them.

Vicki/Jake said...

Colorful anyway....
And you're right, why so many in one spot? Here, they are mostly little while crosses with some kind of flowers. But I think if everyone put markers when this happens there would be many more...

JM said...

This is amazing! I love every picture.

Dina said...

It is so good that people remember their dead by DOING something (like this).

Evelyn said...

Hopefully it is not too disrespectful to say that it look like an interesting art installation. The memorials look really nice by themselves.

Yes, why so many at one spot? Seems like a mile curve... perhaps one accident involving many people. A bus?

Evelyn said...

mild curve I mean.