Friday, June 26, 2009

Multi-purpose cemeteries

Manila - A massive graveyard in the capital of the Philippines houses a reported 10,000 families. Some residents carry caskets for a fee or are paid to repair and maintain the tombs, but others run small businesses in the cemetery. Emmarie Bernardino (left) is a dressmaker who lives and works in the family mausoleum; Imelda Domingo (right) runs a small food store. Residents of the Manila North Cemetery play games, get their hair and nails done, hang laundry, attend school, watch television, and sing karaoke (top) without leaving the gates.
London - For the past several years, the parish of St. Mary's Church in Wimbledon Village has allowed those going to the annual tennis championship - which is held less than a mile away - to park on the graves of those whose descendants can't be traced. The daily fee collected was split among 3 charities. But this year some cars were directed to inappropriate locations, so the vicar has apologized and put a stop to parking in the cemetery.
Ahmadabad, India - For almost 40 years, the New Lucky Restaurant has operated over a centuries-old Muslim graveyard. The restaurant, which does a brisk business, began as a tea stall and expanded around a number of graves.
Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Spain - Atop the mausoleums in the cemetery of this working-class town outside Barcelona, the City Council has installed 462 solar panels to funnel renewable energy into the local power grid.

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