Golden Boy & Jade Maiden

Another pair of prominent stone structures erected at almost every grave is that of the Golden Boy and Jade Maiden. Known in Chinese as the 金童玉女, the Golden Boy and Jade Maiden is believed to serve as guides in the Spirit World or the Underworld. Like Charon, the ferryman of Hades who ferry the souls of the deceased to the world of the dead in Greek Mythology, this couple helps virtuous souls over a golden bridge to paradise, and helps souls whose good deeds outweighed the bad, over a silver bridge to paradise. Therefore by erecting the Golden Boy and Jade Maiden by the grave of the deceased, living family members hope that the deceased will not venture into the courts of hell but instead lead their afterlife in paradise.

In Bukit Brown Cemetery, there is an interesting adaptation of the Golden Boy and the Jade Girl, where the couple is constructed with European features and angel’s wings. (Tan Ean Kiam’s grave) Interesting to note is that the pictures of a boy and girl dressed in traditional Chinese clothes on decorations put up during Spring Festival or Chinese New Year are actually the Golden Boy and Jade Maiden. With their sweet smiles and round faces, the couple is believed to bring fortune and happiness for the whole family all year round during Chinese New Year.