Toh Xin Yi reflects on this after attending our recent Bukit Brown walkabout. The following are her thoughts.
by Toh Xin Yi,
Year 2, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, NUS
I attended the Walkabout and these are my thoughts:
I felt that the tour took us back in time and from the graves/tombstones we can literally 'witness' the footprints the historical events has left. For example, the tombstone of Lee Hoon Leong, grandfather of Lee Kuan Yew, had the year of death engraved on it as 02 which actually meant Japanese year of 2602. This was actually one of the marks the Japanese Occupation had left behind in Singapore (way before our time). Moreover, on the tombstones, the place of origin of the ancestors were actually engraved on them. Hence, by looking at the tombstones, I felt that we have been transported back into time, taking a peek into the lives of our ancestors or those buried in the cemetery.
One of the more interesting things that we discovered through the tour was that some of the tombstones were personalised. Tiles depicting colourful peacocks, blooming flowers and even pigs can be found adorning the tombstones. These actually revealed that way before our time and existence, personalisation of graves were 'trendy'! It is in fact not a novel idea that one can decorate the casket or have custom-made the caskets in modern days.