Wailing cries and impassioned tears met bulldozers and angry officials in the Chinese province of Jiangxi as a campaign to phase out burials found a very real face.
Aiming to reduce the space needed for graveyards and to discourage people from spending excessive amounts on ornate coffins, the Jiangxi has been pushing burial reform.
They are not the first to try this, with the unusual exercise being touted across China.
Jiangxi, however, took a rather heavy-handed approach.
Collecting all of the coffins in the region, including those already bought and paid for, the authorities set about destroying them. There were thousands in total.
Family members and the coffin’s planned future occupants were devastated after having saved for years to afford the hand-crafted caskets.
In video footage from the seizure, a woman is seen sobbing on the floor and an elderly man climbs into his coffin, and having to be forcibly removed by officials.
The authorities are pushing for people to favour cremation over the traditional burial to reach a target of having all dead be cremated by Sept 1.
But the burial process is steeped in tradition in China and convincing people to forego these rites can be difficult.
Authorities have been trying for decades to move people away from ground burials as China’s population boomed to now 1.4 billion.
Read more at https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/08/china-is-running-out-of-space-to-bury-its-dead/#iU9qhj3sv3U2UdDX.99