Somewhere between birth and old age, people learned different meanings of death. As death, is the only thing which can happen to anyone at any time. Through life experiences people can describe themselves via narratives and their actions which caused them to do such things; and one day, when the beautiful soul, nurtured for long years, leaves the body and travels into distant stars and constellations, these journeys and actions turn into folklore. After that, people build a beautiful, carved tombstone to honour the deceased, with an emotional epitaph or thietkelangmo da which is a culmination of the deceased’s life journey. veteran (bao gia lang mo) is known as monumental masonry, who is in charge of designing, creations, execution and repairs of the deceased’s tombstones.
Construction of a tombstone:
A langmo da depcan be constructed on any material like granite, marble, bronze, concrete or cement, iron, sandstone and limestone, fieldstone, monolithic stones, and several others. The texture, patterns and extensive range of colours are present at one’s disposal. The durability plays a vital role to ensure the everlasting presence of the tombstone. Typical measurements of the gravestones are 45 inches tall, 30 inches wide and 6 inches deep, and the size varies from the single grave to double grave or monumental graves. The conventional finishing which people prefer are –
• polished with glass finish
• smooth but, steeled or frosted
• Rough, like a rock finish
• Sawn from a diamond or a wire cut, semi-smooth
The essence of epitaph:
A tombstone is not an indicator of the deceased’s grave; it is an assertion of the life of the person. As the deceased no longer has a physical presence in the living world. The grave is the home for them. People add a picture orbaogialangmo , filled with emotions, words unsaid or things still left to do.
People read it out loud in the hope that the deceased can acknowledge it. Throughout this beautiful, yet the extraordinary journey of life, one has to traverse through high, bumpy mountains or some may dive right into the arms of the ocean to measure the depth of life lessons.