Private luxury cemeteries a growing trend in Indonesia

al azhar memorial garden
Wealthy Indonesians are opting for cemetries with loads of perks

Drop in to pay your respects by helicopter, go for a jog after saying goodbye or enjoy some pasta after your loved one has passed on at some of Indonesia’s luxury cemeteries.

The Straits Times reported on the growing trend for luxurious private ceremonies among wealthy Indonesians earlier this month. This trend first began back in 2007 with the construction of the San Diego Hills Memorial Park, the country’s largest luxury cemetry, located in Karawang, West Java.

The San Diego Hills Memorial Park spans 1,240 acres and boasts, among other facilities, a swimming pool, a running track, an upscale Italian restaurant, a dedicated helicopter landing pad and, of course, an eight-hectare “lake of angels” complete with rowing boats.

The luxury San Diego Hills Memorial Park, owned by the Lippo Group, is part of a growing trend in Indonesia where increasing numbers of the population are finding themselves with growing disposable incomes.

Other cemeteries reflecting this growing trend include Taman Giri Tama cemetery in Tonjong, south of Jakarta, Lestari Memorial Garden in Karawang and Al-Azhar Memorial Garden where a single plot costs around 23 million rupiah ($2,379) compared to the normal state burial fee of 6 million rupiah plus a 50,000 rupiah (about $5) monthly maintenance fee.

Speaking to The Jakarta Globe, marketing general manager at Lestari Memorial Garden in Karawang, Jeffry Yamin stated, “[P]eople are more open to talking about death. Everyone will die, it’s up to us whether we want to make preparations early […]Land is getting more scarce and prices keep rising. What if we pass away 10, 20 years from now and our family cannot afford to buy land?”

Rachmat Effendi Achlil director at the Al-Azhar Memorial Garden in an interview with The Strait Times noted, “We are like a property developer […]”We’re creating certain landscapes, building roads, bridges and houses. These houses, though, are for the afterlife.”

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