My Safe Haven Away from Home

As I settle down into Vietnam, one of the first places I decided to visit was a local graveyard in An Bang to pay my respects to my grandfathers. I know, how morbid, but this place is actually one of my favorite places to visit. It’s quite, peaceful, and so visually beautiful that I cannot help, but stop and appreciate the hard work that was put into these burial sites.

Each of these sites were hand made by villagers and their family members from tiles, cement, and broken plates! At the entrance there are animals and sometimes a statue of Phat Quan Am, a Buddha, to protect the deceased. As you walk up the steps you’ll see a stone tablet listing all of the names of the family members (both living and dead), coffins that are laid above ground, and lastly a shrine in the back to pray. On the walls of the structure are also hand crafted pictures of animals, scenery, and scripts. I am no architect nor do I know how to accurately describe them, but it reminds me of a small open palace.

Apart from its beauty, I find this place remarkable because it is probably one of the best representations of Vietnamese culture that I could ever imagine    the art, culture, and religion. These sites are indicative of how highly regarded family is here in Vietnam. So, yes, although the thought of going to a graveyard can be morbid, if I take into consideration all that I just mentioned and see, I consider it more of my little safe-haven.

Graveyards

A post shared by Leah Phan (@leahtphan) on

A post shared by Leah Phan (@leahtphan) on

A post shared by Leah Phan (@leahtphan) on

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