Perspectives

Death Cultures in the World

Funeral Arrangements in LaytonDeath is a universal phenomenon that happens to everyone. However, differences on how loved ones left behind celebrate life and death itself around the world are something worth noting. Funeral services are determined by different factors like culture, religion, and tradition.

While funeral services in the US can be as simple as securing funeral arrangements in Layton or opting to be buried using the green method, people around the world have far more complex (and sometimes more costly) traditions. Take a peak on 3 of the most interesting funeral traditions around the world.

Interesting funeral traditions

1. Indonesian Toraja

Toraja is an ethnic group in Indonesia that do not bury their dead. Instead, they house their deceased in special buildings called tongkonan where they are dressed and even served meals. To Torajans, physical death is not necessarily the end of life. The dead is considered dead when the family has enough resources to hold a funeral ceremony appropriate for the status of the deceased.

2. Islamic way

A deceased’s body is washed three times, covered with white sheets then cloaked with three layers of white cloth before being taken to the mosque for prayers. In Islam, bodies are buried without a casket in a grave perpendicular to Qibla or Mecca. Unlike in other culture, lavish monuments are not encouraged in Islam and the body is immediately buried after death.

3. Chinese rituals

Elders are not present when a younger member of the family dies due to a complex system of status. An auspicious day is chosen for the funeral. The deceased is dressed well and the body is displayed for a wake where mourners bring flower and money with envelopes as a form of aid and respect. Joss paper is burned through the service. This is known as prayer money, something the deceased can use for the afterlife.

Do you know other funeral traditions that differ from that of the Americans?