Tech-savvy youngsters in China have brought a new digital perspective to
a tradition of worshipping ancestors. They wave their smartphones over
tombstones and using codes affixed to the monuments can access a virtual
obituary where photos and video clips of the deceased can be found.
Chinese celebrate the Tomb-Sweeping Day April 4-6.
quick response codes (QR codes) affixed to the monuments, when scanned
with modern digital gadgets, allow people to access the virtual
obituary, Xinhua reported.
Cemeteries in cities like Shanghai, Shenyang and Fujian have seen a growing number of QR code stickers on headstones.
provided by the codes, normally ranging from names and dates of birth
and death, to life stories of the deceased, has made memorials more
dynamic and interactive.
"With the text inscribed on the tombstone
supplemented by live music and pictures, my memory of my grandmother
can be refreshed," said a woman surnamed Wang. "That will extend her
She said that even strangers can learn of the life of other people with the help of the new technology.
a country where people pay their respects to deceased family members by
visiting and sweeping their tombs every spring, it has taken little
time for the high-tech innovation to gain popularity.
machine-readable barcode, invented in Japan in the early 1990s, is now
widely used for product tracking, document management and marketing
While older generations of Chinese go to shrines and
graves to remember dead relatives, modern urban Chinese are turning to
virtual memorial halls.
They light virtual candles for their deceased family members and lay virtual wreaths online.
officials have also been advocating the virtual drive out of concern
over dwindling burial space, as well as air pollution and fire risks
stemming from the tradition of burning imitation paper money for the