Many cultures view old age as a time for peaceful reflection and a preparation for the final journey of life. However, a few elderly people in China are being forced to hasten the process of ‘passing on’. Dozens have been voluntarily taking their own lives for a chance to be buried in a cemetery, before a government ban on burials takes effect.
The authorities of China’s Anhui province plan to close all cemeteries after June 1, simply because there isn’t any space left. The public was informed of the new rule on April 1: “Before June 1 people can still consign their bodies for burial, but after that the only option offered will be cremation.” The announcement has caused quite a stir among the elderly residents, especially in rural areas.