Asian Funeral Customs That Funeral Homes Must Know
As Australia's Asian population continues to rise, more funeral homes have incorporated Asian funerals in their services to capture a broader market. However, you cannot just print and send brochures to clients claiming that you offer Asian funeral services. You must first understand the culture and how funeral services are conducted. Notably, Asian funerals have unique traditions and rituals that you must follow strictly. This article highlights Asian funeral customs that funeral homes must know.
Children Coordinate Funerals
In most Asian communities, the task of coordinating funerals falls squarely on the deceased's children or younger family members. It follows the principle of devotion to one's parents, which is common in most Asian cultures. Under this principle, children or young family members express their respect to the deceased by getting involved in their send-off. A funeral home director needs to know the custom to make funeral arrangements easier. If you call a senior family member asking for clarifications regarding funeral arrangements, family members will not appreciate the gesture. To avoid confusion, ask a family who to call whenever you want to discuss something.
Deceased's Age Determines Funeral Mood
In most cultures, the death of a loved one elicits a sombre mood during a funeral service. In an Asian funeral, the mood is determined by the age of the deceased. If the deceased is below 80 years, attendees mourn their passing. The funeral of such a person is donned with black clothing to symbolise mourning. Conversely, the funeral is considered a celebration if the deceased person was above 80. The reason is that Asians consider leaving beyond 80 years a feat worthy of celebration, not mourning. Therefore, it is the only time bright colours, such as white, red and pink, are acceptable. A multicultural funeral home must keep this in mind when decorating a funeral service space.
Burning Incense/Joss Paper
During an Asian funeral service, family members and friends burn incense to ensure that the deceased has a safe journey to the other world. Asians also burn fake money and miniature objects like houses and cars so that their loved ones can have a comfortable life in the next life. In this regard, ensure that the venue for an Asian funeral service is well ventilated so that attendees are not overwhelmed by the resulting smoke. You can also designate an area where family members can burn these items for easy and safe coordination.