Oral history shows that the cemetery was not just a burial ground, but played a crucial role in the lives of people. The villages emerged to provide tombstone engraving services, and there were about 10 such firms by the 1950s. People going to the cemetery during Qing Ming also bought joss paper from local shops and had refreshments at the coffeeshops. Some residents became caretakers, tending to the tombs. The villagers were resettled in HDB estates in the 1980s.
This is an unknown history we should uncover. If you had lived in the villages, or have a family member, relative or friend who did, kindly contact me to lend your voice to an important part of our history.
Dr Loh Kah Seng
Oral History Coordinator for Working Committee
Research Project for Documentation of Bukit Brown and Seh Ong Cemeteries
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
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