Quite the grave sights
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At Rose Hills cemetery, plotting the right feng shui

Quite the grave sights
Lan Hsiu Liu’s grave at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier is festively decorated with symbols of the Chinese New Year, including sticky year cake, a cup of green tea and a plastic horse figurine, symbolizing the Year of the Horse.  (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Placing memories
John Khow, right, places incense at the grave site of his wife, Ky Thai, as his son Andy and daughter Lynne pray at Rose Hills cemetery.  (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Rites and obligations
Incense and fruit line the graves of Vietnamese and Chinese family members at Rose Hills Memorial Park, where hundreds of mourners reenact ancient rituals to honor deceased family members. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Flames of honor
Deedee Xu burns a stack of fake money as she, her sister, Lili Xu, left, and daughter Jessica Wu honor a deceased relative at Rose Hills. Few cemeteries have bet as much on Chinese customers as the Whittier cemetery.  (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Items of remembrance
Gui Fang Song’s grave is adorned with candles, incense and food offerings as her family celebrates the Chinese New Year at Rose Hills Memorial Park. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Coyote amid the plots
A bold coyote trots past food-laden graves at Rose Hills. Backed by a mountain and flanked by hills, the cemetery boasts a “protective” orientation in which the hills and mountain represent guardian animals such as tigers, roosters and dragons. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Prayer and memory
Jung Sook Kim, 86, prays at the grave of his mother with his son, Sung Kim. For Chinese immigrant families, burying relatives in America means putting down roots. But after years of assimilation, some struggle to remember the old rituals.  (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Generational respect
Three generations of the Tsai family pray over the grave of Wei Tsai at Rose Hills cemetery. Death tends to magnify the importance of tradition, even after generations of assimilation, said Karen Leonard, a professor at UC Irvine. “Birth and burial practices are anthropologically the ones people hold on to most strongly,” she said.  (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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