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10 Unusual Mourning Practices – Toptenz.net



Customs about death are one of the most ritual aspects of human existence. However, the traditions and rituals of those who mourn the loss of a loved one are very different. The "weirdness" of a culture is another way of remembering Nana. Below are 10 funerary traditions that may seem strange to those who do not follow them …

10. Avoiding the Name of the Deceased

In some Aboriginal Australian cultures, the name of the deceased may not be disclosed when a person dies (the family and elders determine the length of time for this "name taboo", which may vary) of months until years, depending on the status of the deceased). It is believed that the mind makes a journey to the next world after death. However, when the name of the deceased is spoken, his mind can be recalled into this world where he will cause trouble for the family.

In order not to disturb the transition to the afterlife, members of the community avoid using the name of the deceased (verbally, and sometimes in print) and sometimes their similarity (removing photos of the deceased, for example). Instead, they replace a placeholder name. The Arrernte community uses Kumantjayi which means "no name" when referring to the deceased or using the deceased's name (or words that come too close to the deceased's name) for any reason. This tradition can create some logistical challenges. For example, in a community when Alice died, one of the region's largest population centers, Alice Springs, had to be called Kamantjayi Springs. Community members who share a name with the deceased must also use an alternate name, often their middle name. When prominent members of the Aboriginal people died, there was tension in the coverage of death, as some communities were convinced they did not need to use the name or image of the deceased

9. Making jewelry from the hair of the deceased

As anyone who has ever cleaned a shower drain knows, human hair is amazingly resistant to degradation over time. Thousands of years ago, mummies with almost undisturbed hair were discovered. So if you are looking for a trace of your loved one after death, hair is a personal and lasting memory. While one expert notes that "people have saved hair as long as we have buried our dead," the custom became especially popular in the Victoria era, when "mourning jewelry" (also known as "hair work") occurred to the deceased's hair became fashionable.

Queen Victoria made mourning mourning with her public displays of mourning over the loss of her husband, Prince Albert. Victoria often wore a medallion of Albert's hair. However, not all hairstyles were so discreet. Brooches, bracelets, wreaths and even dioramas of hair were shown to honor the dead (and sometimes the living), and the weaving of these objects became a respectable hobby among middle-class women in Britain and the United States. While the enthusiasm for hair work faded after the Victorian era, the craft has received some new followers in recent years, as one of the many remnants of the past, revived by hipsters. Workshops in Brooklyn (of course!) Offer modern artisans the opportunity to create their own Victorian style hair ornaments.

. 8 Recruitment of strippers

In most places, the atmosphere at a funeral could not be more different than in a strip club. In some parts of Taiwan and China, however, the two converge in unexpected ways. In a practice that originated mainly in the 1980s, when it reached its peak in popularity, strippers perform for funerals for the deceased and bereaved. The strippers generally arrive in an "Electric Flower Car", a pickup truck that has been converted into a stage, and the strippers can either perform as part of the funeral procession or at the venue (or both). This habit is more common in less affluent rural areas than in urban areas, and China has attempted to completely eliminate the practice.

The reasons for this tradition are somewhat unclear. Some suggest that a rough and well-attended funeral ensures a better life after death for the deceased, while others suggest that the strippers indicate fertility or offer the deceased's family a way to show their wealth. When a Taiwanese politician died, 50 Pole dancers attended his funeral to honor the deceased's wish that his funeral was "hilarious". An observer joked after the exaggerated funeral service: "The city residents ask: Please die again!"

7. Cut off a finger

When a loved one dies, it may be as if you are losing part of yourself. For some members of the Dani tribe in Papua New Guinea, the sense of loss is more than objective, as grieving family members (usually women) amputate part of one of their fingers to remember their deceased relative. The purpose of the amputation is to show devotion to the deceased, to appease the spirits of the dead by offering them a slice of the living and serving "as a symbolic sharing of the misery of death and pain among the relatives."

You can avoid this next bit if you are squeamish. As part of the funeral, close female relatives will cut off the fingertip, which should be amputated to lessen the sensation. The tip of the finger is then cut off by a relative with a traditional blade. The remaining stump is treated with herbs, while the amputee finger is either burned (along with the deceased) or kept in a place of honor in the house. This practice was banned by the government, although the hands of older members of the community still serve as a visual record of practice.

. 6 Posing for pictures with dead people

In the mid-19th century, photography became widely available for the first time. This time coincided with deadly epidemics of diseases such as cholera in Britain and the US, as well as a focus on the memory of the dead, which was made popular in part by the public portrayal of the mourning of Queen Victoria for her deceased husband. This confluence of factors meant that one of the main topics for early photographers was the recently deceased (along with their grieving families). Historians estimate that in the 1840s postmortem photos were three times more common than wedding photos.

On some of these photos, surviving relatives pose next to the deceased and commemorate not only the lost loved one (in what would probably be the first, only the photo in which they appeared), but also the grief of their remaining family. There was controversy over the nature of postmortem photography in the Victorian era, and widespread reports that deceased seemed to have gotten up to stand and pay attention seem to be incorrect. Likewise, many of the post-mortem photos may not actually be; The long exposure required for the photographs meant that many living subjects (especially children) might need to be supported to hold their poses, and perhaps have unnatural or vacant countenances because of the effort to remain calm. It is clear that as a new technology, photography has quickly become a medium to preserve the image of the deceased and prevent mourning families from preserving and sharing their memories.

Covering the mirrors

In Judaism, the 7 days after the death of a family member are reserved for a period of mourning in which close family members gather at the same house and receive visitors, a ritual known as "Seated Shiva." "In many communities, Shiva Custom covers all household mirrors.

There are a variety of reasons why the mirrors are covered during the Shiva, and some suggest it is reminiscent of This should be a time of inner reflection, without the distractions of vanity.Kabbalists believe that the mind, unaware of his death, hovers around the living in the week after death and tries to return to his body Seeing yourself in a mirror could lead the mind to believe that it is still alive, a more practical explanation is that services are usually kept in the household during Shiva, and Jewish law prohibits the presence of an image (including the mirror image) during the time Traditionally, the mirrors are covered with sheets or reversed, although the surface may also be covered with wax or mist spray b can be covered. An enterprising company even offers adhesive "shiva shades" to comfortably cover large mirror surfaces.

. 4 Dancing with the Dead

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In some ethnic groups in Madagascar, even death is not a valid excuse for missing family reunification. Millions of Madagascans embark on a ritual called famadihana which means "the revolution of the bones," in which the bodies of dead ancestors are removed from their crypts, dressed in new shrouds, and celebrated with their living relatives, which include feasting, dancing, catching up with the family, and sometimes visiting Mass before returning to the tomb. Famadihana is a time of joy and the expression of grief is discouraged. This ceremony takes place every 5 to 7 years (perhaps at longer intervals, as it is expensive for the family), generally after an ancestor appears to a senior in a dream, implying that he would like new clothes.

Famadihana may be an opportunity to honor ancestors, but in many cases it is also associated with the belief that ancestors will retain the ability to move between the living and the dead until their bodies are completely decomposed and serve as mediators to God. Madagascar is not the only place where the dead are exhumed for celebrations. The Indonesian Torajan people practice a similar ritual, known as Maine (The Corpse of Corpse), where every three years the remains of late relatives are dug out, dressed in new clothes, paraded before loved ones become and presented for photos.

3. Take the bones of the deceased with chopsticks

The rate of burning varies from country to country but is increasing in many places, including the United States. In many places, including the US, the remaining bones are abraded after cremation and processed into fine ashes. In Japan, which has one of the world's highest cremation rates, things often work a little differently, and kotsuage, built a bone picking ceremony. The body of the deceased is cremated and then laid out as a full skeleton. Then, as a researcher explains, "the family comes in and – starting with their feet, then with chopsticks going upside down – they tear out the bones and put them in an urn – the idea is that the person stands upright in the urn goes. "

While extra long chopsticks are used for the ritual, larger bones may require more than one loved one to hold a bone between two chopsticks and quickly move it back and forth to move it into the urn. In another context, it is a big mistake in Japan to divide an object between two sticks, as it has the sad connotation of death.

. 2 To hold weddings for the deceased

Long-lasting beliefs in Chinese suggest that the mind of a man who dies unmarried is lonely and causes trouble for his surviving family. For more than 3,000 years, ghosted marriages, bringing two unmarried dead together into a wedding ceremony, have created a way to calm troubled bachelors.

Ghost weddings are similar to weddings among the living. Spouses can be hired, the bride's family can receive a dowry, and after the wedding, the bride moves in with the groom (in a way, her bones are pulled into her groom's grave). The Communist Party of China has banned the spirit marriage, which classifies it as backward superstition, for decades, but the practice continues, causing corpse thieves and possibly even murder while desperate families seek brides for their unmarried sons and brothers] 1. Eat the deceased

Many mourning traditions include the element of the common meal in honor of the deceased. In Brazil's Wari tribe, until the 1960s, the deceased was the food when the body was dismembered, roasted, and eaten by family members. While the wari also practiced cannibalism as a war practice, this type of death cannibalism was different. An anthropologist explains: "It came from affection and respect for the deceased and to help the survivors cope with their grief."

The wari also removed the memory of the deceased, burnt the possessions of the deceased avoiding their name. The corpse was considered the strongest trace of the deceased and the transformation that took place through the process of cutting and cooking, and the body was supposed to help the survivors go further. Wari elders who remember the practice support the idea that this funeral cannibalism has brought some emotional peace.


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