A man scatters the ashes of his deceased relative into the sea at a sea burial service in Dapeng on Tuesday.
AGAINST the chilly winter sea winds, residents were organized to scatter the ashes of their deceased loved ones into the ocean in Dapeng on Tuesday. It was the city's 38th sea burial, the Shenzhen Evening News reported.
The ashes of 84 people, including 66 Shenzhen residents, were scattered into the sea. Five of them had donated their bodies for medical research, and the other 13 were from Guiyang, Guizhou Province.
On the boat carrying the residents and staff members of the funeral management office along with baskets of flower petals that carried the ashes, a Shenzhen resident surnamed Wu scattered his mother's cremated remains into the sea.
Wu said his mother expressed her wish for her ashes to be scattered into the sea instead of being returned to her hometown before she passed away because she regarded Shenzhen as home after living here for over 30 years.
A woman from Guizhou also got on the boat to make her mother's wish come true. According to the woman, surnamed Zhang, her mother once said humans were supposed to return to nature after death. By merging with the water, Zhang's mother believed that her other living family members could still feel her, though in a different form, whenever they touch water.
Like Zhang, the families of the other 12 deceased Guiyang people joined the sea burial event. It is the second time that residents from other cities have collectively joined Shenzhen's sea burial.
What was even more special about Tuesday's burial was that ashes of five body donors were scattered into the sea by volunteers of the Shenzhen branch of Red Cross Society of China, along with teachers and students from the Faculty of Medicine at Shenzhen University. Bodies donated by the five people had contributed greatly to the city's medical development and were paid the highest tribute.
According to a person in charge of the funeral management office, the city's civil affairs bureau has organized sea burials for 36,500 deceased so far. The sea burial is an environmentally friendly and sustainable burial method that conserves a great deal of land resources.