Bukit Brown was used for burials from 1922 to 1973. The grounds are filled with unique history and nature that is worth preserving. Preserving? Yes, the cemetery’s days -as it is now- are numbered.
Singapore’s growing population and car usage asks for more roads. A four-lane road is planned right through the cemetery. About 5.000 graves are going to be exhumed. And that the rich flora and fauna will be heavily affected by a highway cutting through the forest needs no explaining.
|Activists protested (and still do), but the highway is going to come. Although a part is going to be elevated, so has been decided upon the many protests.|
Some months ago my friend and photographer Sabine and I went for a photo-stroll to Bukit Brown Cemetery. I wrote about my monkey sightings at the entrance of the grounds here.
The flora and fauna know a big variety there. We saw several kingfishers within an hour.
And we spotted this dog:
Ok, that’s cheating. This dogs may be wild and potentially dangerous, but it is not officially ‘wildlife’.;-)
It is wonderful to walk there: ‘impressive nature and forest’ meets ‘history and culture’.
The lanes are wide and winding, with pretty vistas here and there….
Tombs are everywhere, as if they are randomly sprinkled over the grounds by a giant.
|A forgotten, rusted fence…|
|A forgotten bench, overlooking a forgotten grave…|
Tombs that are going to be exhumed are marked by white signposts with red numbers.
It kinda looks sad, doesn’t it. Almost like a death sentence, if that would not be a bit weird to say in the context of a cemetery.
But the machines are really standby already:
|Although I did not ask these guys, so maybe they are not there for the job of exhumation.|
The tombs are thus threatened by civilization on one hand (the planned highway), and by the overgrowing power of nature on the other. Meaning that if no one would ever go there, everything would get covered by weeds, grasses and plants.
Many graves though still seem to be visited, showing recently placed and used incense and other religious artefacts.
Let’s look at some of the tombs:
Unfortunately we did not get very far that day. A thunderstorm came up rapidly and we did not want to be far in the forest and then be caught in heavy rains and lightning.
So we only saw a small part of the grounds and tombs.
Hopefully there will be an opportunity to go back to continue our exploration of this unique place.
Some good news: Bukit Brown Cemetery has been put on the World Monuments Watch 2014 list!
Have you visited Bukit Brown Cemetery? Do you like to explore cemeteries? What is the most impressive one you ever visited?