AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes

AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes
I love a sunburnt country / A land of sweeping plains / Of ragged mountain ranges / Of droughts and flooding rains / I love her far horizons / I love her jewel-sea / Her beauty and her terror / The wide brown land for me / ~ Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968)


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Cultural Style

Chinese graves feature in two areas of the Sorrento cemetery, on the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula near Westernport Bay.
One group is gathered at the side of the cemetery near a home fenceline (as above) - the high side of the cemetery terrain.
Others gather on the sharp hillside furthest from the cemetery entrance.
Chinese cemeteries are often found on hillsides. The Chinese believe this affects their feng shui.
(Notice grave ornaments feature at the foot of the grave as does the headstone.)
For some reason, Chinese graves feature more prominently at Sorrento than at any other cemetery on the peninsula.
It is known that the Chinese came to Victoria in the 1850's gold rush days.
But the gold fields were at Ballarat - inland Victoria.
So why there is such a representation of Chinese at Sorrento I don't know.
Are they descendants (many of the graves seem quite modern) associated with the lime-burning trade to Melbourne - a feature of the Mornington Peninsula, especially between Rye and Sorrento - in the 19th century.
Further, Sorrento is not listed HERE as one of the overseas Chinese cemeteries and
HERE is an insight into Chinese burial customs.

Many graves are quite wide and tend to be coloured brown or silver grey but always with gold script..

Some are built well above ground level, but these feature headstones at the back of the grave - quite unlike traditions.

Here is one Chinese? (looks like the Vietnamese style featured below) grave on the high hillside at the far end of the cemetery.
Love the artistic, white etched scenes on this one.
(Click to enlarge + use the magnifier)

And still in the vein of cultural style, here is a grave in Vietnamese style - in the midst of the Chinese graves.

I found this Vietnamese grave also in the midst of the Chinese graves.
The platter of fruit and decorative flowers under glass intrigued me.
They looked so real.

Cultures kept alive
Like an eternal mystique
Everlasting wish

Taphophile Tragics is hosted by Julie
Click on the badge to view MORE!


Unknown said...

Great series of photos. They remind me of some of the graves of Chinese here in Oakland, though even more ornate than most of them. I do need to check out the newest section in Mt. View Cemetery, which was designed with good feng shui in mind, and apparently sold out quickly.

Julie said...

It seems strange to have a headstone at the foot of a grave!

They are big and impressive and a reminder of the ancestor worship that is so important to Chinese families. I wonder if Vietnamese culture has the same ethos. Probably, from the look of your photographs. There is a lot of money involved in some of these resting places. Although they are massive and very wide, they still only seem to be dedicated to an individual.

The white etched cranes are very beautiful and must have taken a while to 'carve' into the granite.

I have not delved much into the resting places of other cultures, Gemma, as often I am unable to read the language, and cannot research and understand enough. Power to you for this.

Thanks for your continued contributions to Taphophile Tragics. If you are anything like me, you are already planning your post for next week.

... *grin* ...

Jim said...


Maude Lynn said...


hamilton said...

I haven't seen any Chinese graves, but it makes sense they would look for hillsides and think about good feng shui.

Sondra said...

these are very elaborate....quite striking!!

Herding Cats said...

Wow, they are all so beautiful.

s.c said...

Never seen one before. Thanks for showing and the links. Never to old to learn something

biebkriebels said...

Those are gravestones I have never seen before with the chinese textes. The Vietnamese is very special indeed with the fruit.

Deb said...

Fascinating series of pictures, chinese graves are something new for me, thanks for posting.

CaT said...

ow how interesting! just this weekend i was wondering about chinese graves. i saw only one on the cemetery i was at that time, but it wasnt as nice as the ones here. the one i saw was just a regular stone, with some chinese on it.

Kathy said...




A place of beauty in the Western Tiers


View near Blackwood Park Cottages, Mole Creek

New Landscapes

New Landscapes
New Worlds

Archive of Blog Quotes

  • A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
  • Autumn is an introspective season when stray thoughts of the mind dive into the mystique of the soul - Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn is the bridesmaid of Summer and the flowergirl of Winter ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn whispers the tones of yesterday in a minor key ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Love is born / With a dark and troubled face, / When hope is dead / And in the most unlikely place; / Love is born, / Love is always born. - Michael Leunig's Christmas Song Cycle "Southern Star"
  • Spring paints the stars of heaven in Earth colours ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Summer sizzles with a sibilant hush / Broken by dreams of / Clinking ice ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. - G.K. Chesterton
  • Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
  • Winter is the fire, simmering lonely in the soul ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Winter is the shadow, the etching of the seasons in the mist ~ Gemma Wiseman

Google Analytics

The Inner Light of the Spirit

The Inner Light of the Spirit
The Spirit of Inner Light

Lady Gemma

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Lady Gemma the Unique of Walk upon Water
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title


Related Posts with Thumbnails