Cremation Becomes Common Funeral Customs in KoreaUpdated: 2011-09-10 (KST)
Korea's cremation rate has doubled over the last 10 years.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare says, that over 172-thousand people were cremated in Korea last year, accounting for 67 and a half percent of all kinds of funeral customs rising 7 and a half percent on-year.
While burials were the usual funeral custom in Korea, the trend has now shifted to cremation.
[Interview : Choi Yeong-ho, Section Chief
Ministry of Health & Welfare] "The cremation rate in developed countries stands at around 70 to 80 percent. Korea is now almost on a par with those countries."
Thirty-five percent of people say they want to be cremated as it is more hygienic, but other reasons for choosing the method are its overall convenience and the fact that an urn is easier to look after than a grave.
By regions, Korea's southernmost island of Jeju and South Chungcheong Province recorded low cremation rates,but Busan, Incheon and Seoul had some of the highest rates in the country.
The ministry attributes the regional differences in the rate to the level of knowledge about cremation, the number of crematoriums, and other regional factors.
Since the ministry expects the number of people who choose to be cremated to increase, it is planning to expand related facilities.
The government plans to build eight more crematoriums across the country by the end of next year.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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