But one entrepreneur uses virtual reality software to reconcile
the two, allowing people to honor Confucian traditions of filial
obligation in the territory where it can cost up to $130,000 to
store the ashes of loved ones.
Anthony Yau's firm, iVeneration.com, offers users the ability to
create virtual headstones anywhere in an augmented reality
landscape of Hong Kong, including such unlikely places as a
Apart from the cost savings, Yau expects his business model to
appeal to more eco-conscious young residents.
"The dead are taking so much more space than those who are still
alive, as those buried use that piece of land for many years,"
said Yau, as he manipulated his mobile telephone to correctly
position a candle in front of a virtual headstone.
"For those who are still alive, they wonít stay on the same
piece of land forever."
Yau, who hopes to launch the website to the public in the first
quarter of 2018, has already attracted 300 users.
Filial piety, or respect for parents and older people, is a
paramount virtue in the Confucian tradition.
"We need to educate the next generation on filial piety, no
matter how you show it, as long as it comes from the heart," Yau
added. "We think the next generation might use these services
for their parents."
Alex Lee, a 46-year-old employee of a technology company, uses
iVeneration to pay his respects to his departed grandfather.
"Everyone is aware the lack of land is a problem in Hong Kong
and the government has been encouraging green burial," said Lee,
as he leafed through an album of family photographs.
"For me, you donít have to go to a thing to remember those
passed away, itís all in your heart."
(Reporting by Pak Yiu; Writing by Christian Schmollinger;
Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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