iPad 2 sold out in the afterlife as Chinese pray for the dead

By Reuters Staff
April 4, 2011
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(Fake money -- "Hell Bank Notes" -- on sale for the Qingming festival, or Grave-Sweeping Day, at a shop in Kuala Lumpur March 31, 2009/Zainal Abd Halim)

Apple’s iPad 2 shortage has spread to the afterlife as Chinese families in Malaysia rush to buy paper replicas of the popular new gadget to burn for their dead as part of a centuries-old rite. During the Qingming festival, also known as the tomb sweeping festival, Chinese communities in Asia honour their ancestors by burning fake money or replicas of luxury items such as flashy cars and designer bags.

The festival, which stems from Confucian teachings of loyalty to family and tradition, is also celebrated widely among the Chinese in Malaysia, who make up a quarter of the 28 million people in the mostly Muslim but multicultural country.

“Some of my customers have dreams where their departed relatives will ask for luxury items including the iPad 2,” said prayer item shopkeeper Jeffrey Te as he filled cardboard chests with fake money at his shop on the outskirts of the capital. “I can only offer them the first iPad model,” he added, pointing to shelves stocked with the gadget along with paper iPhones and Samsung Galaxy Tabs.

Te shipped in 300 iPad 2 replica sets from China for the Qingming festival, which has just flown off the shelves and left him struggling to meet demand — a scenario Apple Inc also faces. In Te’s shop, the first and second generation paper iPads sell at a dollar for 888 gigabyte capacity, an auspicious number in Chinese culture. A basic 16 gigabyte iPad for the living costs $499.

(A man reacts as he burns a paper villa as an offering in front of tombstones of his ancestors at a public cemetery before the Qingming Festival, or Tomb-sweeping Day, in Xiangyang, Hubei province April 3, 2011. The festival which falls on April 5 this year, is a day for the Chinese to remember and honour one's ancestors. REUTERS/Stringer )

(A manburns a paper villa as an offering in front of tombstones of his ancestors before the Qingming Festival, or Tomb-sweeping Day, in Xiangyang, China April 3, 2011/Stringer )

For some Chinese, technological gadgets will not be part of the shopping list for their dead relatives.

“They belong to the older generation. If you give all these so-called iPads, they don’t know how to use it,” said Thomas Soong, 61, as he set fire to a pile of fake money at his grandmother’s grave on the fringes of the Malaysian capital. “So traditionally we give them shoes, shirts … all the necessities,” he added.

by Niluksi Koswanage in Kuala Lumpur

via iPad 2 sold out in the afterlife as Chinese pray for the dead | Reuters.

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One comment

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So this is what we have to look forward to in the afterlife:

1. Shoes and shirts are “necessities” — so no prancing about naked and shameless on cushy clouds then.

2. You still need money if you want stuff — and yet it turns out that you can’t even buy “the necessities”.

3. You’ll probably be wanting the latest gadget developed on earth — so long as it was roughly within “your generation” (e.g., if you died around 200 BC, you’ll be hankering after a candle).

Sounds like someone has really thought this through!

http://www.rationesola.blogspot.com

Posted by SolaRatione | Report as abusive