Singapore – With the Ghost Month officially over, images of leftover litter from the offerings have surfaced on the Internet, with netizens sympathising with cleaners who have to clear the mess.
It is not an uncommon sight for members of the public to stumble upon leftover food, scraps and burnt materials from Wednesday night (Sept 16) which was the last day of the festival. Facebook users such as Zann Ting highlighted the plight of cleaners who would need to clear up the streets the following morning. “If you walk around your neighbourhood estate tonight, you will find the colourful and picturesque offerings laying all over the pavements and walkways,” wrote Ms Ting. “Maybe I should describe it as messy, cluttered and polluted to what was once a clean and green neighbourhood.”
The concerned citizen then mentioned the long day a cleaner would have. “Think for a moment if he’s in charge of the cleanup for ten blocks of flats?” On top of the cleanup required, Ms Ting also touched on the food waste, the possibility of such items attracting pests when left overnight and the possibility of Covid-19 transmissions through the smoke created and leftover offerings.
“If the authorities can impose a fine when someone is caught throwing a small cigarette butt, I see no reason why this behaviour can continue unabated in Singapore,” wrote Ms Ting. “I respect all religions and their cultural practices but consider the poor foreign worker or cleaner who is going to clean up after.”
On a separate account, Facebook user Amabel Teresa Ess shared her own set of photos. “All you people want to pay your respects, at least be considerate to people who live on Earth, not just to the people who visit one month once a year.”
“Why so selfish… unloading lots and after finished burning lazy to throw the plastic away,” wrote Facebook user Kelvin Lim on a related incident spotted at Bendemeer Road.
Facebook page All Singapore Stuff uploaded a photo of a burnt rubbish pile with the caption, “Last day of 7th-month chut stunt.”
Netizens sympathised with those who would clean up after the rituals, noting consideration for others would “reap merits, harmony and understanding.” Others wondered why those who engage in the festival leave the trash after the whole thing is over. “I see these burnt and melted candles and joss sticks still there for days (yearly affair),” observed Facebook user Iroquois Fowler Miken.