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Vietnam An Bang City of Ghosts

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Many residents of An Bang village immigrated to Europe and the United States sent money, making it one of the richest villages in Vietnam. Then local villagers have started to build extravagant graves for their deceased family members, and even prematurely for themselves. There is a challenge between villagers to make even more grandiose graves. The Vietnamese accept as a fact that their ancestors continue to live in another realm, and that it is the duty of the living to meet their needs. In return, the ancestors give advice and bring good fortune.

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Vietnam An Bang City of Ghosts

  1. 1. An Bang Cemetery CITY OF GHOSTS
  2. 2. An Bang village is a small fishing village in Hue, also known as “City of ghosts” or “The land where the dead live” situated at about 30 km from the Hue city The cemetery
  3. 3. An Bang cemetery
  4. 4. In the small village An Bang the inhabitants have built numerous and magnificent tombs. The “ghost town” stretches over 40 hectares
  5. 5. After Vietnamese reunification in 1975, many residents of An Bang Village emigrated to Europe and the USA. From here, they sent money back to their relatives who stayed behind, making it one of the wealthiest villages in Vietnam. The town of An Bang is affluent even compared to western standards;
  6. 6. An Bang cemetery
  7. 7. Construction began in earnest in 1995 and since then local villagers have started to build more and more extravagant graves for their deceased family members, and even prematurely for themselves. There is a challenge between villagers to make even more grandiose graves
  8. 8. An Bang cemetery
  9. 9. An Bang cemetery
  10. 10. An Bang cemetery
  11. 11. AnBangcemetery
  12. 12. An Bang cemetery
  13. 13. An Bang cemetery
  14. 14. An Bang cemetery
  15. 15. These structures are often two or three stories tall, decorated with sculptures of gold and dragons and mythical creatures, and fully functional bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens An Bang cemetery
  16. 16. An Bang cemetery
  17. 17. An Bang cemetery
  18. 18. Each tomb at An Bang Cemetery is build for an entire family, not for just one person
  19. 19. An Bang cemetery
  20. 20. An Bang cemetery
  21. 21. All religions are represented from Buddhism through Christianity without forgetting Taoism and Islam. This not only reflects the lifestyle of the locals, but also their deep belief in life after death and the importance of paying homage to their ancestors. According to the villagers’ beliefs, having a meticulously cared for and decorated tomb will bring the family good fortune, and if the village of An Bang is anything to go by, their extensive efforts seem to have paid off!
  22. 22. An Bang cemetery
  23. 23. Some tombs look like temples and above all, they do not all have the same architecture
  24. 24. An Bang cemetery
  25. 25. An Bang cemetery is the biggest cemetery in Vietnam. This is already quite impressive: the tombs are decorated with colorful mosaics, dragons and towers
  26. 26. In this part of the world, dragons bring rain, essential for agriculture, but they are also symbols of prosperity, the power of the nation, the universe, existence and growth
  27. 27. The costs of the tombs they are building here can be as much as £50,000 (GBP) – extraordinary when you experience the poverty that is so common throughout most of Vietnam
  28. 28. An Bang cemetery
  29. 29. An Bang cemetery
  30. 30. An Bang cemetery
  31. 31. An Bang cemetery
  32. 32. Commented by the Daily Mail (UK) as “a strange, colorful and lavish cemetery” An Bang cemetery covers an area of about 250 hectares (2.5 square kilometers) with an amount over 3000 tombs.
  33. 33. Second Indochina War ended in a tragedy that was unprecedented in history. Three million Vietnamese were wounded and one and a half million were killed. And in the neighboring countries Laos and Cambodia, the death toll amounted to two million dead and wounded. Indochina is therefore littered with war cemeteries. (Of the three million Americans who served in Vietnam, 58,000 died, 153,000 were wounded and 2,387 remain missing)
  34. 34. An Bang cemetery
  35. 35. The majority of Vietnamese do not follow any organized religion, instead observing one or more Vietnamese folk religion
  36. 36. Folk religions were founded on endemic cultural beliefs and historically affected by Confucianism and Taoism from China, as well as by a long and strong tradition of Buddhism. These three teachings or tam giáo were later joined by Christianity which has become widespread
  37. 37. Vietnam is also the home of two indigenous religions of syncretic Caodaism and quasi- Buddhist Hoahaoism origins
  38. 38. Though Vietnam is officially an atheist state thanks to its communist rulers, the country has been deeply influenced by Confucius and Buddhist thought, and many people take ancestor worship seriously
  39. 39. 2021 Sound Bao Yen- Missing Hue ancient town Text and pictures: Internet All copyrights belong to their respective owners Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda http://ma-planete.com/michaelasanda
  40. 40. The religious experience in Vietnam is not only deeply embedded in daily life, but also complex because besides animism and ancestor worship, also elements of the Tam Giao or the three religions are intertwined: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. ”City of ghosts” always makes tourist shock by regal stone lions abound and glittering mosaic dragons which adorn the roof-ridges, mixture of different architectures such as Catholicism, Vietnamese, Chinese and Western. Even many tombs there are the “copies” of Nguyen Kings’ tombs and Hue royal citadel