More people are seeking eco-friendly burials, with 7 percent of people still using traditional burials, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday, releasing its latest statistics on funereal preferences to coincide with Tomb Sweeping Day today.
The statistics show that 92.83 percent of people are cremated after they die.
Department of Civil Affairs division head Tang Keng-shen (唐根深) said an elderly woman in Tainan filed a request with the Tainan Danei Tree Burial Special Zone several months before she died to be buried there.
He said that the woman had not informed her family members of her decision, and it was not until after she was cremated that an employee at the crematorium told family members that she had registered for a natural burial.
He said her family members were at first surprised at her decision, but later obliged to her desire to “bond with nature.”
Due to limited space, most Taiwanese opt for cremation, and the number of people who say they would prefer to be buried has decreased sharply, Tang said.
Even though more people have embraced environmental burial methods, the number of people choosing natural burial make up just about 1 percent of the number of people cremated, he said.
Since the ministry began promoting eco-friendly burials in 2001, more than 16,000 people have adopted alternative burial methods, such as tree burials or flower burials, he added.
There are 29 natural burial sites at public cemeteries nationwide, including the Yongai Sanctuary and Jhengshan Sanctuary in Taipei; the Sanjhih Cherry Blossoms Sanctuary of Lives in New Taipei City; the Gueisih Sanctuary in Taichung; and the Tainan Danei Tree Burial Zone.
Aside from tree burial, the most popular among natural burial methods, Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan together hold an annual sea burial ceremony, which has served more than 1,000 people since it was introduced in 2001.
Tree and flower burials involve placing ashes into biodegradable urns and burying them among groves at natural sites, Tang said.
Family members of the deceased do not burn ghost money at natural burial sites, instead mourning their loved ones in silence, he said.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37