Sweeping Tomb Online
Thanks to the fast development of technology, the appearance of computer and Internet dramatically change the way we are living and makes everything relatively convenient, but still respects the customs and tradition of humans.
Just by clicking mouse, people can choose to hold a memorial ceremony for their beloved relatives or friends who passed away on a new kind of virtual graveyard, where enable people to select a graveyard with good Feng Shui (风水) for them, lay wreath, and burn incense and paper money in the virtual mourning hall, and even write them an email to express the great sadness and grief.
When we search the key words “sweeping tomb online” in Chinese on Baidu, we can find 3,190,000 pieces of information with a great quantity of memorial websites such as waheaven, zgjisi, and zg05. Opening the homepage of a website, firstly you can find some choices of those notable people who you would like to give a memorial with typical Chinese ceremony, for instance burning incense. And then, when you enter his or her virtual mourning hall, what you can see are several columns horizontally put in order with different buttons about bio of its whole life, pictures of the person, and articles eulogizing the virtues.
At this time, you can decide which sacrifices to place or which way to convey your deep emotions to it. Certainly, all these tiny sacrifices are virtual goods which are more like other cyber stuffs within online games that need pay with chargeable credits. Usually one credit is assessed at one yuan.
As for now, some people may raise a question about how much it cost. After a thorough investigation on those prevailing memorial websites, it can be found that some websites initially provide a 15-day free trial for register members to establish a hall, and then begin to charge 150 RMB at one time for updating it into a formal mourning hall, and finally ask for dozens of yuan annually for the reason of maintaining. Apart from this, the amount of other charges is various based on the need and requirement of the members. For example, if the hall is expected to be designed in a 3-D dimension effect with a certain size of video clip uplowded, the price would be reached at the level from thousands yuan to ten thousand yuan.
What seems more exaggerated, the luxury consuming behaviors have been transformed from real life to this virtual world to some extends. For some mourning halls, they are advertised with good reputation of Feng Shui and some of them are priced at 19999 RMB to establish a new one(9 is prounced as “Jiu” in Chinese, the same as
“久“ which is usually associated with longevity and eternity).
An overseas Chinese, Mr. Peng, who could not fly back to memory his father druing Qingming Festival, decided to spend that amount of money to set up a super luxury virtual memorial graveyard for him, with locating in an imitated picture of mountain where is only belonged to his father’s tombstone and displaying Chinese calligraphy and paintings of his fathers in order to show the remarkable momentum and honor the success achieved by his father.
Written by Limo from Daxue Consulting, a marketing research firm in China