Chinese city rewards seniors who choose sea burial

Updated 2018-04-04 22:43:00 Xinhua

Ahead of Tomb-sweeping Day on April 5, Dai Yuyin and his wife in east China's Zhejiang Province signed an agreement choosing sea burial after their death.

In return, the couple, both in their 70s, will each be rewarded 100 yuan (15.9 U.S. dollars) per month from the civil affairs bureau of Wenling City for their decision.

"I'm a fisherman. The sea is like my home. I would like to be back home after I die," Dai said.

Dai and his wife are among 24 citizens aged 70 to 85 in Wenling who have signed agreements to have their ashes scattered at sea, making them eligible for cash rewards, according to the civil affairs bureau.

Wenling is the first Chinese city to reward those who sign up for sea burials before death in order to promote eco-friendly burial.

In other parts of the country, rewards for those who choose eco-friendly burials, such as storing ashes, tree burial, and sea burial, are issued to the family members of the deceased.

The Wenling government introduced the measure this year, granting 100 yuan per month for those aged between 70 and 80, 200 yuan for those between 80 and 90, 300 yuan for those between 90 and 100, and 400 yuan for those aged 100 and above.

Chinese tradition holds that the dead should be buried in coffins beside their ancestors, but the custom has put a strain on the populous country's land resources. To deal with the problem, Chinese authorities have promoted eco-friendly burials across the country in recent years.

Tomb-sweeping Day, also known as Qingming Festival, is a traditional Chinese holiday during which people pay tribute to deceased friends and family members.

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