Singapore – While it is normal during Hungry Ghost month for individuals to burn joss paper as offerings to their ancestors who have passed on, doing so on the ground without enclosed containers is deemed inconsiderate.
On Sunday (August 23), Facebook page All Singapore Stuff uploaded a video contributed by a reader of two men burning offerings near a void deck without using proper containers and lit the items directly on the ground. “Got bin to burn offering in don’t want to burn there. Why must burn on the floor make everywhere messy?” read the caption. According to the post, the incident took place at 206B Compassvale Lane.
While people are allowed to burn offerings in public areas, the National Environment Agency (NEA) noted that devotees should do so with consideration for others. “They should burn paper offerings using enclosed containers or containers provided by the Town Councils at various locations within the estates and not damage public property by burning indiscriminately on pavements, common corridors, void decks and other common property,” said NEA.
With over 98,000 views and 950 comments, members from the online community took a shared stance on the matter, noting it was irresponsible and inconsiderate. “Bins are provided or bringing own mini burners into an open space is not difficult to do,” commented Facebook user Mohan S Dhillon. He extended his sympathy for those living in the second and third floors receiving the hot ash and smoke from the offering.
Many urged for authorities to put such incidents to task because not only is it inconsiderate for residents, it is also a fire hazard. A few suggested making it illegal to burn offerings without a bin or enclosed container. “Their actions leave behind burned markings on the floor thus should be classified as vandalism.” Facebook user Geraline Raman highlighted the extra work for cleaners having to clear the rubbish during ghost month. “Should collect a fee on behalf of all the cleaners,” she added.
Facebook user Calen Chen experienced a similar case with his neighbour. After taking a picture and sending it to the town council, his neighbour received a big warning notice. “Now very very good behaviour,” said the netizen. “It’s good for us to continue the tradition and pay respects to our ancestors,” said Facebook user Darren Koh. “But it should not be disruptive to our environment.”
<Reader's Contribution by C Tan>Got bin to burn offering in don't want to burn there. Why must burn on the floor make everywhere messy? Spotted at 206B Compassvale Lane
Posted by All Singapore Stuff on Saturday, 22 August 2020
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