Der neueste Beerdigungs-Trend aus Südkorea: Perlen aus menschlicher Asche.
The ashes-to-beads process takes about two hours. In a corner of a massive room in an industrial area an hour outside Seoul, Bae keeps an altar to hold rites for the dead. He often leads the rites with family members present. "This is an important process, because I am announcing that I will take good care of the deceased and handle it with utmost care," he said.
The ashes are ground inside a special machine into a finer powder, which is reheated and shaped into beads. "The color and density of the beads vary from person to person," Bae said, adding that the finished colors range from coral and topaz to gray and black.
Jeon Gyeong-suk is one of Bae's happy customers. Recently, she called him to express her appreciation for the beads. "I was so moved by how beautiful they were," she said. "The pearly blue color calmed me."