Is it a park? Is it a cemetery? It’s a cemetery park
Gone are the days when cemeteries were frightening places with weird smells and terrifying atmospheres.
Cemeteries now can be as green, serene and peaceful as a beautiful garden, with Taman Kenangan Lestari (Lestari Memorial Park or LMP), being among the first grave developers in the country to share such a belief.
Established in 2003, the cemetery complex, which is located near San Diego Hills (SDH), is filled with greenery and colorful flowers, and the sight of gardeners taking care of plants can be seen in almost every corner.
The site manager, AS Endrotristi, explained that the LMP blueprint was to create a park amid the cemetery complex to get rid of any spookiness.
“We want it to be as comfortable as possible for visitors,” he said.
People will find that most large gravesites in the 32-hectare cemetery park also include spots to sit for the visiting families.
The memorial park is also equipped with supporting facilities like a canteen and a Buddhist shrine to serve clients, who are mostly Chinese.
A similar concept has been applied by SDH in a much grander way. Almost all of SDH’s 500 hectares is covered by manicured lawns. The place also boasts top facilities, ranging from a pool, church, Italian restaurant and even wedding venue, not to mention the manmade 8 hectares Lake of Angels.
The currently-under-construction Al-Azhar Memorial Garden plans to adopt the same approach in its development plans.
The director, Rachmat Effendi Achlil, said the management will make the grave complex part of the gardens. It will also build a mosque at the center of the park.
With the concept, Rachmat wants to make the place as “homey” as possible for the deceased as well for the families.
— JP/Ika Krismantari