Around the the world, there are cults and ceremonies for the dead that include elaborate funeral practices, ranging from spending $1,000’s to permanently preserve bodies that will be viewed, spoken-to, and prayed-over for just a few days with large stone obelisks and permanent memorials (US & Canada);
to Japan & China where there there are highly expensive and even more elaborate funerals, including dioramas of expensive cars, condos, bungalows, etc for the soul to enjoy, plus lifelong obligations of the 1’st son to create and maintain shrines (where families without sons actually adopt or marry the daughter off to a “son”, who changes his name to become the official “first son”;
to Peru where some families bring out the mummy to sit and eat with the family.
In Mexico, ex-pats often wonder what the 3 days of Dia de Los Muertos are about.
Here’s a fun video short that gives some insights into central Mexico’s views on the dead.
Enjoy, and maybe hoist one in honor of your ancestors and those who helped make you who you are.
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry
Read-on MacDuff . . .
Yes, the ways of dealing with the passing of family members are truly varied, and some times seem bizarre, across cultures.
One famous western philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, directed that his corpse be dissected, re-assembled, and then dressed and preserved for display — instructions which have been honored at University College at London. It has even been brought to meetings, where he was described in the minutes as “present, but not voting.” Here’s a link:
Fun Stuff !
There’s a thesis waiting to be written on what birth, wedding, and death rites say about societies and groups. I know that my family viewed other cultures’ death rites and ceremonies with a mix of curiosity and criticism, while they were unable to see their own practices with much clarity. Me? I hope to find an isolated but pleasant spot in the woods, commune with nature and friends, and make the journey with minimal fuss.