What Death Means in Different Cultures
Understanding promotes respect for all. People’s different views on death and how they conduct themselves and grieve (or celebrate) the passing of a loved one can be considered sacrilegious elsewhere in the world. For Instance some people have conflicting views on the practice of intentionally ending a life like the below: The Japanese Samurai see the taking of one’s life as a way of redeeming yourself for making a terrible mistake as highly honourable. The modern world widely frowns on suicides and sees victims of it as people who were in need of help. In Switzerland suicide tourism has become a big thing with lots of people practicing Euthanasia. People suffering from fatal injuries or sicknesses who view their lives as too hard to go on with have their lives terminated in painless ways. Different cultures have different ideas on death and its rituals and this can give us deep insight into the people. Here are some interesting traditions practiced around the world. Mongolia Famous for “Sky burials” where a body is left exposed to the elements on a high unprotected place. This part of a Vajrayana Buddhist outlook about respecting the body after death. Ground burials happen as well with the casket designed in red and black which are mourning colours. Milk, rice and clean sand are placed around the grave. Iran Iran has extremely long rituals that can last days, though the burial actually needs to happen within 24 hours of the death. The deceased body is washed nine times and wrapped in a white shroud that is tied in with cords to prepare for burial. The funeral procession involves massive crowds around the coffin as it is believed it is extremely holy to touch or carry the coffin. The mourning is split into very significant days: The third day is when a memorial service is held with huge flower arrangements. On the seventh day the grave is visited and food is given to the poor. At the fortieth day, the mourners who have been wearing black can dress normally again and a gravestone is put on a the grave.