Funerals are conducted across the globe, but the specifics vary depending on the culture. From Eastern ceremonies to the modernized Western funeral, you can learn a lot about the balance between life and death by understanding their meaning in other cultures. Here’s a brief description of a few funerals from around the world.
3 Unique Funeral Traditions From Foreign Cultures
1. Cambodian Buddhists
In Southeast Asia, Cambodians practice Buddhism and believe in the power of reincarnation. During a traditional Cambodian funeral, there is less focus on sadness and grief and more on rebirth. The family members of the departed may, however, still opt to shave their heads and wear white as a symbol of mourning.
As for the funeral service, Cambodian Buddhists believe that a monk should be present to help guide the person’s spirit from Earth to the next realm. Once they have passed, monks pray over the body for three days before it is cremated and housed in the nearest temple to aid in reincarnation.
2. Swedish Lutherans
The majority of Sweden practices the Lutheran faith, which colors many of its post-life traditions. The burial usually takes place long after the person has passed — in some cases, as much as three weeks after death has been pronounced. Swedes use local flowers, such as baby’s breath, to decorate the funeral service, which is only open to very close family members. Immediate relatives wear white ties and sing songs around the body as they place flowers on top of the casket.
3. New Orleans
While New Orleans is located in the United States, its funeral traditions are unique. Rather than focusing on the sadness and loss of a person’s death, they use the ceremony to celebrate their life and lasting memory with color, music, and dancing. New Orleans funerals combine West African, French, and African-American traditions as the procession is led by a jazz band through the city streets. Before the body is buried, the songs are tinged with a bit more sadness, but after the ceremony, the focus shifts to a commemoration of the deceased, and the music lifts to create a jovial, cathartic experience.
Planning a funeral is no easy task. If you’re looking for help in New Haven County, CT, call Porto Funeral Homes. For 75 years, they have helped families incorporate their cultural preferences into funerals, burial services, cremation, and all other post-life celebrations. Focused on providing friendly support and creating personalized tributes, you can trust you’re in good hands. For more help, visit them online or call (203) 467-3000 today.