Kerala market has always been a good market for all types of Chinese goods that stand out for their cheap sticker price. From toys, automobiles and costumes to lights and furniture, Chinese goods have taken up an important place in the day to day lives of an average Malayalee. The charm of the Chinese goods is all set to follow the Malayalees even in their final journey in the form of Chinese coffins.
The first consignment of over 170 coffins has already hit the state to cater to the surging demand. A company based in Alappuzha has entered into an import business deal with a firm in Shanghai manufacturing coffins. The coffins ideally named as 'Swargapetty', which literally means Heaven box, is made of Paulownia tree wood, which is commonly seen in China. The wood is environment friendly as it gets degraded within a week’s time unlike the conventional wooden coffins, which take longer to disintegrate. Kerala has become the first state in India to import Chinese coffins, each of which is estimated to cost between Rs 20,000 to Rs two lakh. These finely crafted coffins with satin linings and intricate carvings are available in a range of sizes too.
Chinese coffins are available in a range of materials including even cardboards, which however are not suited to the Indian beliefs. The Chinese company will be redesigning the coffins to suit the cultural conditions of India.
The company also has plans to import the materials and assemble it here to cut down the prices and make it affordable to everyone. The coffin production has hit the rocks following the scarcity of wood and skilled manpower, which prompted the company to import coffins. The younger generation of today is not very keen to be associated with the coffin making business due to the stigma associated with it.