Tag Archives: cycle

Namaz E Janaza

My informant is Pakistani and has lived in many countries worldwide, yet has deep knowledge of his culture and is very associated with certain events and occasions that occur in Pakistan.

Funeral Ritual:

This prayer, typically known as “Namaz E Janaza” is a common type of prayer “performed at funerals”. It is a ritual that has “existed in Islam for a very long time” and is “very important to our religion and culture.” The ritual is illustrated by a “group of people that are praying as the body is put in front of them” He states that it is because “everyone is praying towards god when the body is also there” conveying the influences of religion on their life. The informant also states that it is “the same Islamic prayer from the Qur’an that people read.” It is a widely known tradition in South Asia, specifically Pakistani culture when it comes to funeral rituals and events that must take place in order to properly bury a body.


The ritual is “always performed by men in a room separate to the women,” and the informant continues to assert that “they cannot be together and a woman cannot speak the prayer to the body” highlighting the strict nature of this ritual and the specific cultural customs on death and funerals. It is usually done in Pakistan but also occurs in other Muslim countries that still honour this method of performing the funeral ritual. It is a very important aspect of how the body is sent to heaven and is a pivotal step in “family healing using religion and ensuring they continue in heaven”


The religious aspect of funerals is very common in many cultures, however, in Islamic culture, the split of the men and women into separate rooms signifies the power that the prayer holds as it is part of their tradition. Death and prayer being portrayed in a ritual allow families to use the religious scripture provided to them as a mode of grieving their loved ones in a structural manner, making it easier on the family that is closer to them. Although, the formality of the occasion eliminates personalisation of the funeral and family members when burying and honouring the dead as they must follow the known written words instead of making them uniquely theirs, which is seen in other cultures. However, it is a religious and important part of their cultural identity, therefore, the prayer does not solely mark the death of an individual but paves a path to their god that they are praying to, following the practices of their culture and tradition as it is passed down.

Game for Summoning Ghosts

The informant is currently a Chinese college student. She heard this piece when she was in Junior High School. We were talking about ghost stories when she brought out this piece.

Informant: You need to find a rectangular room. 4 people each stand in 4 corners. A person starts to walk along the wall. S/he touches the next person, who starts to walk. This person touches the next person who then starts to walk. And there are 4 people who had played the game for the whole night until they realized that when the fourth people walked towards the first people, s/he should’ve not touched the first person, so there was 1 extra person.

Interviewers: Wait, why the fourth person should not touch the first person when s/he walks back?

Informant: Because the first person is not yet back. He stayed where he touched the second person.

Interviewer: Oh f**k. What’s next?

Informant: The story just ends.

Interviewer: I felt a chill just ran down my spine.

Informant: I just remembered that this is a ghost-summoning game. You basically follow the rule to see if you can resume it.

Interviewer: OMG. Are there any requirements like turning off all the lights?

Informant: Yes. Make sure that no one can see the person in front of him/her.

Interviewer: By the way, what do you mean by ghost-summoning?

Informant: Basically, if you can keep on with the game, then there is a real ghost coming out.

The informant told me that this had been her childhood shadow.
This story is most frightening if the audience imagines the occasion carefully. Many people would get stuck, not understanding why the first people should not be touched by the fourth people. But the scenario is fully understood with a little effort, the story turned out very scary. The story doesn’t describe many details, which invites the audience to draw their most frightening imaginations on what is the ghost and what would happen to the 4 people trapped in the game.