The Mohist doctrine of “Moderation in Burial” seems to be winning converts among officials in China these days.
The New York Times reports that “After a quarter of a century in which the gap between rich and poor has steadily widened, the wretched excesses of the affluent are increasingly a Chinese government concern.”
“Ostentatious tombs are particularly irksome…because many Chinese find even a simple grave marker beyond their means. In a coinage that captures the widespread frustration, someone struggling to afford burial costs is called a ‘grave slave.'”
Last month in Wenling, south of Shanghai, “Five brothers commandeered the grounds of a high school to bid their mother goodbye with pomp befitting a state funeral. Thousands of onlookers watched a ceremony that featured nine flower-decked limousines, a uniformed band and a 16-gun salute. One brother told reporters that his mother wanted to be buried with ‘face.'”
The lavish ceremony prompted the local government to enforce a regulation against funeral “extravagance and waste.”
Full story here.