Tuesday, October 13, 2015

POTD: Vietnamese Tombs

From 2015 03 26 Halong Bay

Today's photo-of-the-day is from northern Vietnam. It shows a farmer at work in his field. Behind him are family tombs. I'm no expert on Vietnamese burial practices, but from what I've read, when someone dies, their body is buried in their rice field for three years, after which it is exhumed and moved to a family cemetery. I heard two different reasons for this practice. One is religious. The time in the first tomb is used by the deceased to earn the right to be buried in the family cemetery. The other reason is more practical. The tomb in the family's rice field denotes clear ownership of the field. But the family doesn't want to take up too much of their rice field, so the burials are only temporary. If I've insulted anyone with a mistaken understanding of local culture, I apologize. Personally, I found the practice both moving and visually compelling.

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