Rants of a Weird Little Bird

Random stuff involving myself…and people around me. Hello, and goodbye. :-)

Account of a Traditional Chinese Funeral – and Thoughts

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Today, I went to an aunt’s funeral with my father. When we reached there, we saw that a tent had been set up in the middle of the small road, and several small tables were set up. A pot of fried rice was set up behind it, while a small altar table was on the other side, with a joss stick container on it. Several oil lamps and a large facial photograph of my aunt completed the setup.

Hanging on the ceiling was a large white lantern with the blue chinese characters “Seventy with Five”, denoting the age of my aunt when she passed away.

Our relatives were all dressed in navy blue overalls, and the mood was far from sombre. In fact, it was even jovial at times. If they were sad, they had certainly come to terms with her death. After all, it is easier to come to terms with the death of a relative in her mid-seventies. They were folding joss papers when we arrived.

On their request, I went to the alter to light up three joss sticks as an offering to my aunt. I dutifully did it, and it was quite hard for me to think of anything to say to her; I only managed to see her only during Chinese New Year, and when these family gatherings occurred, she mainly talked to my father.

It felt as if Chinese New Year had sort of arrived early, as most of the talk my father and myself had with my aunt’s surviving relatives revolved around far more mundane affairs, like catching up on what everyone was doing, whether the children were studying, whether the adults were married, and so on and so forth.

Will talk about the cremation ceremony later today. There were quite a few memories which ran through my mind today in the journey to and fro, which I shall blog about in the next few days.

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Written by aweirdlittlebird

February 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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