A recent TikTok of a man throwing joss paper in the middle of the road at Bedok went viral this week, as hungry ghost month begins.
Time-honoured as the tradition may be, some netizens concerned over littering and the impact on the environment are saying that perhaps it’s time for a change.
The video, posted on @sgviralvids TikTok account on Friday (Jul 29), has been viewed almost 270,000 times.
It’s captioned. ”Hungry ghost festival is here…”.
The five-second clip shows a man distributing “hell money” at New Upper Changi Road at midnight on July 29, which marks the beginning of ghost month.
To those unfamiliar with the practice, “hell money” is a modern form of the joss paper burned by Chinese mourners to ensure that their dearly departed enjoy a wealthy and enjoyable afterlife.
“Hell money” is printed to look like actual bank notes.
Some commenters on the video tried to provide a useful explanation for the man’s actions.
However, the video, along with an AsiaOne article about it has spawned its own Reddit thread, where many netizens are airing their concerns about pollution.
“Funny how we charge 10 cents for plastic bags for sustainability but still allow this mass burning of paper shit to go on. This is like burning down trees but with extra steps. Time to change the practice, make them print everything on an a4 piece of paper and each household can only burn 1 piece of paper. Get the religion leader to endorse it.”
“I don’t know the exact science of this but can they not print HIGHER denominations so people burn way less paper?,” asked another.
Several pointed out that the man broke the law.
Another pointed out that this type of “littering” would not be tolerated in other parts of Singapore.