After strong opposition to the building of columbaria in some neighbourhoods, the government sought to fight the “not in my backyard” mentality by proposing to build public columbaria in all of Hong Kong’s 18 districts.
But Eddie Tse thinks that the root of the problem is the poor planning of the government, rather than the lack of columbaria spaces in Hong Kong. He says residents were opposed to plans that concentrated many death-related facilities in a single area. If facilities such as columbaria and crematoriums were spread in different districts, there would be less opposition from residents.
“It is actually a problem that can be solved within five to six districts, now it is actually spreading the problem to all districts,” says Tse.
From cradle to grave, finding shelter in this crowded city is a headache. It seems that the columbarium policy is still in a mess but one thing is clear: Hong Kongers just want a place they can call home, alive or dead.