When someone dies, their family and friends typically organise a funeral to commemorate their life and mourn their passing. Funerals around the world are often different, but there are some general characteristics that are shared by Asian funerals in particular. Asian families come from a diverse range of ethnic, religious, and geographic backgrounds. They may practice Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Islam, Christianity, or other faiths. In this article, we’ll explore these funeral customs and we hope that after reading this article.
1. Respect For Seniors
Asian funerals are often centered around the senior members of the family. Elders who have passed away are typically honored with a funeral that is more elaborate than those for children or young adults. This may involve displaying their belongings, having a burial site selected, and arranging for numerous memorial services throughout their life. Funeral ceremonies honoring seniors are key parts of Asian culture and they should be respected by families and friends of the deceased.
2. Dress Codes and Colours
Funerals in Asia typically follow specific dress codes. Men and women are expected to observe conservative clothing styles that denote respect for the deceased. Colors may also be important, with families often wearing colours that represent their culture or religion. For example, members of the Buddhist faith usually wear blue robes while Muslim funerals often feature colorful headscarves and turbans.
3. Phrases and Customs
Asian funerals can involve a variety of phrases and customs that are specific to the region where the funeral is taking place. For example, Chinese people will say “prosperity go with you” when offering condolences during a funeral. This is in contrast to the more common ” rest in peace” phrase used in most Western funerals.
4. Food and Drink
In many Asian cultures, food and drink play an important role during funerals. Families may offer food or beverages to the deceased as part of religious rites or as an act of respect. A variety of foods are popular at Asian funerals, including sticky rice, pork soup, chicken curry, and mango ice cream among others.
Funerals in Asia are often an honoured event and family members may treat the funeral as a special occasion. Many people will dress up in traditional clothing or bring offerings to the funeral home in order to show their respect. Friends and family members may also offer prayers or sing hymns together during the service.
6. Incense Usage
One common feature of Asian funerals is the use of incense. The scent is believed to help guide the deceased to a place where they will be happy and safe. Incense may also be used as an offering to the gods or ancestors during a funeral service.
While cremation is becoming more popular in the West, it is still far from standard practice in Asia. In some parts of the region, funerals usually involve a traditional burial followed by a later funeral ceremony that includes cremation.
Funerals in Asia are a unique and important part of the culture. They play an important role in reinforcing social values and customs and often serve as an honoured event for family members.