Singajo's world

Bukit Brown Cemetery

Posted in Uncategorized by singajo on vrijdag, 11 mei, 2012

Enchanted. Bewitched. That’s how I felt when I first visited this place. I didn’t understand why it was called the “Brown Hill Cemetery”, the scene being greener than the greenest green. An oasis of tranquil, silent peace in Singapore where, nowadays, one has to search long and far to find a small spot undisturbed by never ending construction clangour.

Little monkeys were swinging through trees on a rhythm produced by enthusiastic singing kingfishers, frolicking butterflies were dancing their most elegant mating dance, and I was blown away by the huge collection of aged, proud trees. That day, I danced through the early morning haze, feeling like a little fairy, slaloming between cascading sun rays.

The Cemetery became more famous due to its threatened status, and since, one may spot the odd chic expat woman walking her showy poodle, or a banker enjoying his silent jogging before he goes to run after money. And the old uncles, who have always been there, nonetheless just sit, silently, immersed in their very private conversations with the trees, entrusting them with all their secrets, never to be shared with anyone else. Magical.

Of course, there are the graves, ancient tombs from the early nineteen-hundreds, rediscovered resting places which nobody knew still existed, and which, over time, have been buried by all the jungle’s greens, testifying the overwhelming power of nature. One of those rediscovered gems is the majestic tomb of Mr Ong Sam Leong, privately located on a hilltop, close to the stars.

Unfortunately, this fairy tale setting won’t last for much longer. At least 5000 graves will have to make room for yet another highway and more condominiums on this tiny, soon-to-be supersonic island.

Mr Ong Sam Leong is very lucky to be allowed to stay atop his cosy hill, but sadly, he will loose the company of all those other resting souls. And rather than colourful birds singing private concerts to him, the irritating noises of traffic will keep him eternal company. Long live progress.

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  1. Claire Leow said, on zondag, 13 oktober, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    hi, may I ask for a high-resolution copy of this photo with photo credit to you (real name please) for use by the blog, All Things Bukit Brown, for submission to the World Monuments Fund as part of the ongoing documentation of the site for the World Monuments Watch, please? It is a beautiful shot that speaks volumes of both the heritage and natural value of the site.


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