~By: Erika Lim~
“A family outing at a cemetery?! Are you crazy or simply bo liao?”
Indeed that’s what happened on Sunday, 11 March, as parents and children, boisterous teenagers, lovey-eyed couples and camera-toting nature lovers – neither crazy nor bo liao – descended upon Bukit Brown to destroy the peace at the otherwise tranquil cemetery. Organised by “all things Bukit Brown” – a group of friends who share a passion for all the things at Bukit Brown – and supported by the Nature Society and SOS Bukit Brown, the event aimed to draw crowds and raise awareness of Bukit Brown’s contemporary value.
The day couldn’t have started out better. Clear skies bespoke a lovely morning. When the organisers arrived to set up booths at the open space near the entrance, they found a spacious tent right where they had planned to set up shop. The tent had only been erected by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) the day before for their internal use. But what a pleasant coincidence for the canopy would provide much-appreciated shade for participants of the Family Day.
Throughout the morning, a series of nature and heritage tours were conducted, including one by Raymond Goh, the “Tomb Whisperer” and acknowledged expert on tomb histories at Bukit Brown.
The guest-of-honour for the day however, was a gorgeous stud named Astroboy. His tall, muscular frame made him an object of envy among the men, while his large brown eyes melted the hearts of ladies young and old. For hours, Astroboy stood beneath the trees, gallantly posing for photos with his adoring fans.
To add further jazz to the event, Mr Balakrishnan, a yoga instructor, kindly conducted a stretching session for those brave enough to demonstrate their nimbleness – or lack of. Meanwhile, a few tired souls were able to rest and relax under the care of Mr Ivan, a massage therapist who had brought along his massage chair and aromatherapy oils.
The rest of us sat around, chit-chatting and trading tales of interesting finds at Bukit Brown. Those among us who were more creative and less idle, expressed ourselves with pen or brush by composing haikus and painting miniatures in honour of Bukit Brown.
The next Family Day will be held this Sunday, March 18, from 9am to 1pm. If you’ve never visited Bukit Brown, this will be a good time to do so. With the authorities planning to start construction of an 8-lane highway through the area later this year, opportunities to explore the largest Chinese cemetery outside of China will become increasingly limited. For more details of Family Day activities, visit bukitbrown.com.