Because of Hong Kong’s severe overcrowding and high real estate prices, burials in public cemeteries are exhumed after 6 years. The bones are either privately collected for cremation or reburied in an urn. The government exhumes and cremates unclaimed burials.The British began colonising Hong Kong in 1841 and quickly ran out of room to bury their dead. To address this issue, they began exhuming and cremating dead. This practise persisted until 1884, when the first public cemetery was constructed.Due to congestion, the government has continued to exhume dead from public cemeteries since then. The government declared in 2013 that it would exhume approximately 20,000 bodies from the Hong Kong Cemetery.The exhumed remains are either privately collected for cremation or reburied in an urn. The government exhumes and cremates unclaimed burials.This practise is divisive and has sparked widespread public outrage. Some consider it disrespectful to the deceased and their family. Others feel that it is a necessary action due to Hong Kong’s acute congestion.