- Kung-fu Hillbilly
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I'm unfamiliar with Cambodian rituals where death is concerned was wondering whether Cambodians have an understood distribution of duties or costs when a family member dies and what they might be. Also, what is the format or procedure from the time of death? What are Cambodian variations, if any, on a traditional Buddhist funeral?
My one experience of a funeral in Cambodia was when an elderly neighbor passed away. Her kids, who had by all accounts had very little to do with her, suddenly turned up and commenced trying to outdo do each other in a “mourning competition” even going so far as taking turns borrowing the microphone from the monk officiating and wailing into as loud as they could. The actual funeral was carried out on her own land (her back garden basically) the whole village attended (some of them were actually knocking together a plywood coffin as the monks carried out the service, the remains lying under a white sheet in the meantime ) it was all fairly informal, casual dress, kids running around, a lot of little groups chatting away through it all. At the end of the service the remains were burned on a small pyre in said back garden, it all seemed quite surreal at the time.
I have a story regarding a funeral for a “blended family” (my useless cunt of a fathers) that I may share later.
Very loud music. Plastic chairs and tables. Cans of coca cola etc. Lots and lots of flowers, wreaths, large photos of deceased. Coffin [ed. to say: or person under sheet, as noted above] in the mourning area....then coffin and occupant cremated.
Monks chanting on microphone.
Marching around crematorium in a circle a number of times on day of cremation.
Bones cleaned and presented to family. Buy a place at WAT, or keep the urn at home with a photo of deceased, collecting ash as incense is burned every Pchum Ben.
Red thread on wrist. White clothing.
Variations if desired = people talking (or wailing, I suppose) on microphone.
Incense and ghost money in large quantities. Lots and lots of those.
I would think the offspring would come together to share some expenses. Perhaps the rich bong thom is supposed to pay for all.
Variations on theme: if barang, party on boat and steaming ashes placed in the Tonle Sap, the copious amounts of drinking and eating on said boat is kind of a good touch.
100 days down the road, Bai S'aik Muan.