Bukit Brown Cemetery

Every country is home to rich historical monuments or locations that aren’t well known by citizens and Bukit Brown Cemetery seems to be one of those. Located in the middle of Singapore, this cemetery contains roughly 100,000 graves and was closed in 1973.

In the past few years, the Singaporean Government has decided that they would exhume roughly 4,000 graves in order to expand the PIE (a road in Singapore). This means that over the past few years they have closed off certain areas and begun to remove these unclaimed grave sights. This sparked interest among some Singaporeans and now there is a movement to protect this historically rich area. The interest has caused many descendents to come forward with stories about their ancestors burried here and there have been some interesting discoveries, such as the lady who’s 4 million dollar inheritence is unclaimed. On top of these interesting discoveries, there are also some important Singaporean historical figured burried there like Tan Lark Sye (co-founder of Nanyang University), Lim Chong Pang (Chong Pang village), Chew Joo Chiat (Joo Chiat estate), Gan Eng Seng (Gan Eng Seng School) and Chew Boon Lay (Boon Lay new town). To clarify for those non-Singaporeans reading my blog, they were influential Chinese pioneers.

I tried to get into a tour at the cemetery because the volunteers who run them know plenty of stories, are well versed in the history and are passionate about the work they’re doing. However, there weren’t any this past weekend and with the little time I have left in Singapore, my aunt and I decided just to head out for a walk.

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” — Gustave Flaubert