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kimpossible
05-24-2004, 01:46 PM
Kind of a sober topic but I'd like to hear about different traditions for honoring a loved one that has passed away. Afraid I know little to nothing about Japanese tradition save dancing in Obon and lighting lanterns. I would be especially keen on knowing Chinese traditions as well. I know about Grave Cleaning Day, hanging a picture and burning money and other paper items and I had to bow to some ancestor portraits on a wall when I got married and also during New Years.

Haven't any idea about Korean traditions, Vietnamese, Thai... etc.

Shinran
05-24-2004, 02:25 PM
Most JAs from California are Buddhist and have a small shrine or gohonzon. Around this shrine are pictures of our beloved dead. We offer rice, oranges and the first harvest (the first orange, berry...) and say a prayer. This is for the daily basis.

One someone has died, they are given a normal funeral (but it's REALLY fast compared to Catholic) and a pot-luck luncheon is sometimes held.

At intervals of one month, three months, six months, one year, three years, five years, seven years (notice that most of the dates are odd, not even?), and so on the family gathers for a service at the local temple and gather around the grave to clean and pray.

That's about it for the JA culture I grew up with in Selma, CA.

Yeahman
05-25-2004, 08:45 PM
Korean ancestrial worship involves meals that are prepared and placed in front of the grave or a picture of the deceased. Family members bow down (all the way down so your forehead touches the ground).

sandra
05-25-2004, 10:59 PM
here's more for chinese:

during the funeral, a couple of close friends (usually older ladies) will stay at the home of the person who passed to "watch the home". i'm not quite sure of the significance of this.

after the funeral, family members eat rice balls in sugar water (tong yuen) or candy b/c it's sweet and is supposed to ease the pain.

after that, the family is not supposed to go to anyone's house for about a month b/c it's bad luck since somebody in their family had just passed.

49 days (?) later, the family is supposed to meet back at the home of the family member who passed in case he decides to revisit one last time. after this day, his or her soul should rest.

our family follows this quite closely.

Family members bow down (all the way down so your forehead touches the ground).

i remember ab talking about this. so do people actually put their head to the ground at the graveyard? or is it just something that was traditionally done but not so much anymore?

SunWuKong
05-25-2004, 11:11 PM
i remember ab talking about this. so do people actually put their head to the ground at the graveyard? or is it just something that was traditionally done but not so much anymore?

i think it's probably Buddhist related or influenced. have you seen the "five point bow"? some worshippers will do that over and over again. it looks almost like an exercise routine.

deez nuts
05-26-2004, 07:06 AM
we have or had a mini shrine for my deceased grandparents comprised of a picture of my grandfather and a picture of my grandmother, fruits and incense (not lit) stuck in a bowl of uncooked rice. i think at times we will eat the fruit and cook the rice during the course of the year. it's eating the food that my grandparents have "blessed."

the only time we light the incense, bow and kowtow to my deceased grandparents is on the eve of every chinese new years. we also place some samples of the dishes that will be served during new years dinner around the mini shrine to be eaten during new year's dinner. again, this is so that my grandparents can "bless" the food.

applehead
05-26-2004, 08:22 AM
on the anniversary of their death
we have to prepare food and then
set it up in front a picture and bow.

i don't know all the details but the food
has to be cooked without garlic or onion or scallions.
nothing pungent like that.
then it has to be set up in a special way.
then all the men bow and does something
with shots of soju.
they have to circle it counter clockwise and the clockwise
and then leave it for the deceased.
then have a shot themselves.
and this has to be done in the house
of the oldest male.

we also sit around for like half and hour to pray
for the dead but that's a korean catholic thing.

this is something i should know in more detail
later in life so i can help my brother do it
properly.

yoMAMA
05-26-2004, 10:11 AM
in china [ancient times] you have to wear all white cloth for mourning and funerals and stuff...which is like a complete 180 opposite of western traditions, where you white for happy events [wedding].

seanp
05-26-2004, 12:31 PM
we have or had a mini shrine for my deceased grandparents comprised of a picture of my grandfather and a picture of my grandmother, fruits and incense (not lit) stuck in a bowl of uncooked rice. i think at times we will eat the fruit and cook the rice during the course of the year. it's eating the food that my grandparents have "blessed."

the only time we light the incense, bow and kowtow to my deceased grandparents is on the eve of every chinese new years. we also place some samples of the dishes that will be served during new years dinner around the mini shrine to be eaten during new year's dinner. again, this is so that my grandparents can "bless" the food.

Vietnamese adopted the chinese ritual, it's exactly the same except the incense is lit and there must be z(r)uoude {viet wine) and flowers.

>:^|
05-26-2004, 12:57 PM
In Chinatown, sometimes you see the funeral car with a giant picture of the deceased on the top. They drive it around and around before going to the burial site.

sandra
05-26-2004, 01:43 PM
In Chinatown, sometimes you see the funeral car with a giant picture of the deceased on the top. They drive it around and around before going to the burial site.

yeh, the tradition is that you're not supposed to look because it's bad luck.

it's funny because in s.f. chinatown, you'll always see white tourists staring at the pictures and sometimes even pointing. triple bad luck for them.

kuilong
05-26-2004, 02:59 PM
in china [ancient times] you have to wear all white cloth for mourning and funerals and stuff...which is like a complete 180 opposite of western traditions, where you white for happy events [wedding].

It's the same in India; there was that minister in Vajpayee's government who was threatening to cut off her hair and wear white if Sonia Gandhi became PM.

ChairmanMah
05-26-2004, 06:25 PM
burn stuff like incense and those papers,

bow three times

and not wear red for a couple weeks.

SunWuKong
05-26-2004, 06:58 PM
i pour some alcohol (any kind will do) on the ground and light three cigarrettes and put them on the ground to remember my fallen brothers.

ok just kidding. :smile:

Chinito
05-26-2004, 10:54 PM
Hmm, well, my family is Chinese Buddhist. But living in New Jersey (US), when my grandparents passed away, we could not find a monk to peform the "Wang Sheng" or "next life" ceremony for reincarnation.
FUNERAL
The funeral usually occurs within days of the death. Traditionally everyone must wear ALL white. I think if it's a male family member that has passed away, you wear a hemp vest on top of the white, pi mah dai shao. Signs are hung around the funeral parlor indicating everyone should remain solemn and respectful. I don't remember exactly, but when I felt it was nearing the time of my grandfather and subsequently grandmother's time, I went to Man Fut Ji (Infinite Buddha Temple) in Hong Kong where the temple provides you with the grieving "kit" which contains incense, matches, signs, Buddhist bell, prayer beads, incense holder, instructions with the Buddhist incantations: They are usually written in phonetic Chinese mixed with Siddham ( an ancient Indian script transmitted to China with Buddhism, subsequently into Japan as shittan). At any rate, the incantations are in Sanskrit. There is a pack of "treasures"...there was an amulet with sand or something you hand to sprinkle on the body and place in a pocket. In the kit there is also a "Wang Sheng Bei" which literally means "next life blanket." It's usually made of yellow silk with spells, prayers, stupas written in Chinese and Sanskrit(using Siddham). In the casket, the Wang Sheng Bei covers from the toes to the stomach area, where the hands are folded. The prayer/spell for reincarnation must be recited over and over...I forgot how many times. Oh-mi-toh-fuo (prayer to Amidha) is recited as well. I think the numbers of times are 49 and 108. Everyone must go to the front of the casket, take either one or three incense, light it and put out the flame by fanning it with your hand. You must NEVER blow on incense in a religious setting, that is EXTREMELY disrespectful. You bow three times with the incense, say the person's name in your head and say something to the deceased. You place in the incense in the holder and then get on your knees. Kow-tow (touch forehead to ground) three times. You must NEVER allow tears to fall on the body of the deceased. This is not some American movie where a tear brings someone back to life. In this case, the tears would be like a chain to the dead, making it harder for him/her to move on, clutching/clinging on to the current life. After everyone has had the chance to pay respect, there is a brief oration made by a few family members and friends. When all is over, everyone takes a final bow and turns their backs and proceeds to exit the building. During this time, a non-family member (usually a monk) will lift the Wang Sheng Bei blanket over the head of the deceased. The funeral parlor workers will close the casket. Family must NOT see the casket come down. I am not sure why. After the final goodbyes are said at the graveyard, there is usually a banquet set up at a restaurant. We do not go directly home because we do not want to lead "death" home. Also, candy are given out to try to "sweeten" the sorrow. Before entering your home, you light a fire and jump over it. We just lit a newspaper and jumped over it before entering the home. I know this is done when there are elderly people living in the home. I guess this makes sure no evil spirits or death are clinging on to you. Oh yeah, at the funeral, if an attending person is too old to kneel and bow, he/she just holds the incense and bows/nods his/her head.

There is a period of 49 days, then 100 days, then I think year and maybe three year aniversary where you must honor the deceased. Also, for one year, you are not supposed step foot into someone else's home. You set up a "ling wei" which is like a Spiritual Tablet, and also a picture. An altar is set up and incense, candles, paper money, food, etc are offered. At the end of 1 or 3 years (I'm not sure which), the deceased one arises to level of Ancestor. You no longer have to separate the altar for ancestor and deceased one.

Obviously, everyone is sad. However, we are also made to think that it is a happy time, for the person has had great longevity and is moving on. My grandparents lived to 90 and 94.

Anyway, I'm sure I left out some stuff. That's the gist of it though.

NtshiabLiDej
02-09-2005, 01:46 AM
Hmong ancestrial worship (or appeasement I should say) consists of burning incense and money paper and offerings of food and rice wine.

Hmong ancestrial worship (or appeasement I should say) consists of burning incense and money paper and offerings of food and rice wine.
I forgot to add that male family members must prostrate themselves in front of the family altar three times.