Old age

Funeral

Interview:

“We go to the temple for funerals.  Everyone eats lunch or dinner together like a family reunion.  It’s like a funeral but also an opportunity to catch up with each other. I went to those funerals, but I don’t really think of them quite as funerals.  “

What usually happens in these events?

“We go to the house of the person who died.  The priests come there.  Usually the day is spent making food and preparing the house, then making an alter and decorations.  Service where they have chanting, and at one point they take a string, and wrap it around the attendants around the hands of the attendants.  Same thing happens for blessing the house.

After the service is over, before noon, then the priests can eat, but if it’s after that, then no.  Then after that they party and eat.”

 

Background:

The subject describes the traditional events of a Sri Lankan funeral of which he has participated in a few times.  He also stated that it emphasized family in a way, bringing people together who may have been unable to communicate for long periods of time.   Similar to stories I have heard from Louisiana, rather than mourning the death, they celebrate a person’s life.

 

Analysis:

I found that the idea that death could be viewed as a celebration to a person’s life rather than mourning was incredibly positive.  It seemed like a means to help people move on after death and in this case, rekindle the family bonds that may have slowly drifted away.

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