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University Lets Students Lie in a Grave to Reconcile With Their Mortality

Radboud University, in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, has been raising some eyebrows with its “purification grave”, a hole dug in the ground that students can lie down in for up to three hours to reflect on what is important to them.

The “purification grave” at Radboud University is at the same time a modern form of memento mori and an invitation to think about what is really important in life. Initially dug in 2009 the grave was part of a two year project that ended in 2011. However, it seems to have made a comeback this year, probably by popular demand. Students at the the univeristy, and well as those at the neighboring HAN University of Applied Science can sign up to lay in the several feet-deep hole in the ground for 30 minutes up to three hours. They are not allowed to take their phones or any books with them in the grave, allowing them to focus on their surroundings and their inevitable demise.

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