Clipped from article: "Others think all these practices are just superstitions and that the
best way to respect elders is to treat them well when they are alive."
James C. Scott wrote some books back in the 80's & 90's about societal power relationships (e.g. Dominance and the Arts of Resistance). If I remember correctly, he mentioned something about "sop offerings" to the dead, and likened the placing of flowers on a grave to offerings of food, liquor, and trinkets. Even if the gift-bearer does not believe the dead will have use for, or even be aware of the gifts, the act of giving has become so enshrined in the society's expectations that to not do so is viewed as a cultural transgression.
From: Kansas City Skeptic <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Friday, April 5,[masked]:32 PM
Subject: [skeptics-137] Heaven-sent: Fake Apple products offered to Chinese ancestors
Heaven-sent: Fake Apple products offered to
By Li Le, Producer, NBC News BEIJING -- During China’s annual Qingming Festival, also known as “Tomb Sweeping Day,” people repair and clean the graves of dead relatives as part of an ancient custom to ensure a peaceful afterlife. Some cemeteries are attaching QR codes to gravestones to allow mourners to view a virtual obituary. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports. They also leave offerings of food, fake money, liquor and now, in a sign of the times, cardboard representations of popular Apple products – despite scathing criticism of the technology giant recently by China’s state-run media for its "arrogance" for having just a one-year warranty for Chinese consumers.
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