In 2014, the Chinese town government of Doumenzhen (Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, 绍兴斗门镇杨望村) had ordered the cadres of Yuecheng Village to “re-green” (复绿”, afforestation) a hill that is occupied by tombs.

That hill is so overcrowded with tombs that it becomes arid with few trees and look “ugly“.  It does not reflect well on the local government because national Highway 329 passes through that area and the tombs and barren hill are visible.

The Chinese Communist Party is democratic and considerate.  They gave the local people 3 choices without bothering them for their input:
1.  relocate the tombs 
2.  bulldozer the tombs and plant trees on top of it
3.  remove the tombs, rebury the remains deep below and plant trees (“re-green”) on top

The town government officials would inspect and evaluate the result of this “re-green” effort.

No budget is given for any choice.  The locals have to pony up money to do it.

Local villagers did not like any of these choices. Some tombs are pretty old to relocate, not to mention Feng Shui concerns.  But they cannot disobey the great socialist government.

The hill is so barren that it will be difficult to plant trees even if the tombs were removed.

The cadres focused on the “re-green” part and suggested the villagers to paint the tombs facing the Highway 329 green, so that the hill looks “green” from the highway.  The villagers agreed and collected RMB$50,000  (US$ 8000) to buy green paint.

150 tombs facing the highway were painted green.  Even the tombstones were painted green.  It looks as if they let their ancestors celebrate St. Patrick’s day or pretend they were immigrants from Ireland (green is the theme color of St. Patrick’s day).

This is another proof of “the wisdom of working people” according to Chairman Mao.

Someone has taken pictures of these green tombs and posted it on micro-blog.  A reader comments:

“You ungrateful descendants give your ancestors a green hat!”.

                                                                                                                                            River “turns” green during St. Patrick’s day

“Give someone a green hat” is the slang for sleeping with someone’s wife.

In terms of Feng Shui,  the villagers may give birth to little green man (just kidding!).   They may have some strange skin problems or wood related problem like liver sickness.

Today is March 17.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Ken Lai

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