Letter | How Hong Kong can help the idea of ​​green funerals gain traction

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It is welcome news that there are green funerals are catching on in Hong Kong. Given that there are limited locations for funerals, having the ashes of loved ones scattered in designated gardens and at sea is obviously a long-term solution, but the idea of ​​not having a permanent place to store urns containing the ashes of ancestors may not appeal to some. It is understandable that a tomb or memorial plaque is seen as a way to commemorate a loved one.
Culturally, traditional family values ​​motivate people to pay their respects to their ancestors through grave sweeping, especially among the Chung Yeung And Ching Ming festivals. In practice, however, our scarce land resources will not be able to cope with the ever-increasing demand for permanent cemeteries due to an aging population.

Due to superstition or conservative thinking, death is often seen as an emotionally charged topic that many people should avoid at all costs, as they believe that talking about it brings bad luck. However, the sudden death of a loved one who has not made it clear how they want their remains to be handled can complicate matters and put family members in a difficult position.

Education and promotional campaigns are essential for green funerals to catch on.

People need to have open and honest conversations with their older relatives about how they want their ashes to be handled. Respect is the key to facilitating a fruitful exchange of ideas. Bringing in a trusted third party who can make the older person more comfortable could help.

Death should not be seen as a taboo subject, but as a natural process. Those who proactively plan for what happens to their remains after death demonstrate enthusiasm for life. Furthermore, those who choose green burials contribute to building a sustainable future.

More promotional leaflets and flyers could be made available in hospices and hospitals. If possible, manpower can be stationed at these facilities to provide information to anyone considering the idea of ​​a green funeral. Promotional activities and workshops should be advertised on a larger scale.

Jason Tang, Tin Shui Wai

Shine a searchlight on the taxi industry

I fall into the elderly category and the minibus and taxi are my daily modes of transport. Taxi drivers seem to fall into two different categories: the friendly and helpful ones with clean taxis, and the grumpy and unhelpful ones whose taxis are often filthy.

Like all of us, taxi drivers are getting old, but when they see a wheelchair, three out of five drivers look away. Fortunately, I can still do without a wheelchair, but that will happen.

The taxi trade needs to somehow focus on rewarding the friendly and helpful people and get rid of the aggressive and useless ones. Passengers like me prefer a quiet ride and don’t really like a constant litany of loud conversations between drivers and their contacts.

I have met some very nice, well-behaved and friendly drivers lately. I wish there were more like them. Shine a searchlight on the trade that lives in the past.

Norman de Brackinghe, Pok Fu Lam