Download Chinese Death Rituals in Singapore by Tong Chee Kiong PDF

By Tong Chee Kiong

Via a cultural research of the symbols of demise - flesh, blood, bones, souls, time numbers, nutrition and cash - Chinese demise Rituals in Singapore throws mild upon the chinese language notion of demise and the way they focus on its eventuality. within the seeming mass of non secular rituals and ideology, it means that there's an underlying common sense to the rituals. This in flip leads Kiong to ascertain the interrelationship among loss of life and the socioeconomic price procedure of China as a complete.

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Each morning, the eldest son or eldest daughter-inlaw kneels beside the coffin and, using a bamboo fan, fans the yao hu and ritually repeats the words: When I was young, you took care of me. When I was sick, you fed me medicine. Now that you are sick, I will take care of you, prepare herbs to feed you so that you will get well soon. THE PROCESS OF DEATH 33 Toward evening, a large number of friends of the family attend the funeral. On arrival, they bow or kneel before the altar and, with a single lighted joss stick in hand, they perform the ritual bai, prostrating themselves or bowing three times to the deceased.

Would ancestors be viewed differently in Singapore, a society that does not have strong lineage groupings? The fieldwork The anthropologist is, in fact, studying himself—he is both the subject and object of his own study. Srinivas) Strangers are always present at Chinese death rituals. It is not uncommon to find strangers and beggars congregating at a funeral to consume food specifically provided for them. At the graveyards, beggars ask for money while the family is conducting the rituals and they are always rewarded for their efforts.

The coffin is then carried out of the home and placed under the canopy which is a huge rectangular structure made of wood and canvas constructed near the home of the deceased that is the site of the funeral rituals. Traditionally, the coffin would be kept in the main room of the home or in the ancestral hall. In Singapore, however, because most homes are too small to conduct the rituals, it 30 CHINESE DEATH RITUALS IN SINGAPORE is done outside the home. In a sense, the funeral, which is a private ritual of the family, has therefore become a ritual in the public domain which has resulted in the creation of several new rituals in order to protect the public.

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