Home Buddhist space Society Rock star-worthy resting place: Nirvana Memorial Garden in Singapore livens up the...

Rock star-worthy resting place: Nirvana Memorial Garden in Singapore livens up the afterlife



It’s billed as a “six-star” columbarium, and the luxurious final resting place at Singapore’s Nirvana Memorial Garden lives up to its name.

The urns of the deceased are situated on pedestals and lit with a ray of bright white light. A statue of Buddha pulsates with LED lights and families of the deceased can memorialize their loved ones in the style of a rock concert, according to Reuters.

Conspicuously absent are traditional trappings of Buddhist post-cremation funeral ceremonies such as incense, chanting monks and urns piled in small pigeonholes up to the ceiling. (More than 40 percent of the population in Singapore declare themselves believers in Buddhism.)

“This is not a place for people to come only once a year to visit their parents or relatives,” Nirvana Memorial Singapore’s director, Jeff Kong, told Reuters. “We want to create an environment to encourage them to come as often as possible.”

Besides a $2 million sound and light system, the 120,600 square-foot columbarium is carpeted and air-conditioned, and has an indoor car park with a skylit lobby. When it’s fully open next year, there will be space for 50,000 urns in 11 suites, each designed with feng shui elements.

And every suite will have lounges filled with sofas and rosewood furniture so families can rest when they are visiting. Instead of old fashioned keys, families will get into their loved one’s niche with an electronic keycard.

But these comforting trappings are costly. Families can expect to pay $22,000 for a double niche in the Royal Suite, or $2,200 for an “economy” class niche.

Madam Goh, a 60-something woman who bought herself a niche, said it was worth it.

“This place is clean, comfortable and much less eerie than traditional columbariums,” Goh said.

Author : Rosemary Black

Source : http://www.nydailynews.com

Previous articleVietnam — 2010 Long Bien Festival- expat’s gift to Hanoi
Next articleReport : Life at the Monastery For Young Monks