Arthur M Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art - The National Museum of Asian Art - Smithsonian Institution
Ancestor Worship Today list of exhibitions > online exhibitions > teens > Funeral
 
Lisa Mak "My father's funeral is probably my most vivid memory of an experience in a funeral. My father had suffered a stroke, and he stayed at a hospital for a week before he died. At his funeral, we started out with a period of time reserved for people to view the body. My brothers and sisters and I knelt next to the coffin and kowtowed to anyone who went over to view or bow down to the body of my father. My direct family members all dressed in burlap. After the viewing, the body was placed on a cart and we wheeled him to his grave.

"After the funeral, we mourned my father's death by wearing dark clothes and a black 'respect band,' symbolizing the respect we had for my father and the sadness we felt for his departure. We were not allowed to wear red clothing, to symbolize our mourning. My father died in September, and in the end of February, I wore a red sweater. But I was scolded by the neighbors for not 'respecting my father.' Even after one hundred days, the traditions still stood!"

Lisa Mak, April 2001
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A look at the Altars
Ceremony in Taiwan
Funerary Practices
Meet the Research Team