A funeral with a cost of up to 1.5 million dollars in China is stirring debate about the appropriateness of lavish funeral customs.
A wealthy businessman in Yulin, Shaanxi province, held a grand funeral for his late father with a superb feast, famous Maotai wine, and Chunghwa cigarettes, a favored brand by Mao Zedong. The event even has a fireworks display.
One villager told Chinese news outlet Jimu News that the son owns a farmer’s market in the province’s capital city, so he can afford such costly funeral ceremonies.
A video of the funeral raised mixed responses. Some people show envy, while others question the value of such an expensive funeral.
One commented that as long as he gets rich legally, no one should care how and where he spends it.
The other said that if rich people are willing to spend money to benefit the economy, then it’s not a problem.
However, one suggested the family should donate the money to people in remote areas. Then it would be a better way to spend the money.
One even mocks whether the funeral is for the dead. It is more like for the living.
Funeral services are one of the booming industries in China.
The “cost of dying” in China, so to speak, even surpasses the cost of living.
Fu Shou Yuan International Group is China’s largest provider of cemeteries and funeral facilities. According to its 2018 data, the cost of an average burial plot has risen 41% to 14,800 dollars since mid-2015. This number far exceeds the growth of 23% in home prices.
Hao Hong, a chief strategist at Bocom International Holdings, told Bloomberg that some people even bought flats to store remains instead of extravagant graves in Shanghai.