Babaoshan literally translates as Eight Treasure Mountain. This area of western Beijing is home to China’s most famous cemetery, the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery. The site is located on what was formerly a 14th Century Taoist Temple, built in honor of General Gang Bing. It later became a final resting place for Imperial concubines and eunuchs, but since the founding of the modern cemetery in 1951, it has been home to heroes of the Communist Party and those who have offered great service to their country. Among them are people such as Wang Guangmei, a politician, philanthropist and former First Lady who died in 2006. However, more controversial figures are buried here, such as China’s last emperor Pu Yi. His widow however, had his ashes removed and placed in a cemetery closer to other tombs of Qing Dynasty emperors. The cemetery is divided into different sections, and people are buried depending on rank and the service they provided to their country.
This short video provides an insight into the lives and work of two people who have worked at the cemetery for years. They give detail about their daily lives and how they feel about working in China’s biggest cemetery and how it has affected them.