Tuesday, 31 August 2010

another funeral I did see

in one of my posts back in March 2009 I wrote about seeing a funeral, by chance I saw another today. Well first of all I heard it, was mid morning and the music was very loud ......  I knew immediately what it was so ran and grabbed the camera before heading out onto the balcony!
 There is usually a 'band' consisting of the young girls drumming and playing the funeral song. This band is known as "Yizhang Dui 仪仗队". Their job is simply to create a 'grand' atmosphere by playing the funeral song.

But now I wished I had the sense to run downstairs to watch it go by. I would have had plenty of time too. They stopped opposite us to allow the 'walkers' to hop onto the buses to continue the last part of the journey.

There were three large buses, three decorated 'trucks', two vehicles in front and the decorated Funeral Vehicle somewhere in the middle.
 To arrange a Funeral in Singapore is a little different to Australia for example. In Singapore you need to know where you wish the wake to be held for instance .... maybe the void deck of the HDB (Housing Development Board) flat, or at your house or perhaps the funeral parlour ... though that is not so common here. But you do need to seek permission from the LTA (Land Transport Authority) or if the wake is going to continue for 7 days, then the NEA (National Environment Agency) needs to be notified to seek permission.

An excellent site to take note of is the Singapore Government - family and development site.

You also need to book the time and date of the cremation or burial, but the Funeral Director often can help with this procedure.

Booking - and paying for - of the niche (for cremation) can be done on-line !

You also need to have a coffin permit.

The Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex is the only cemetery in Singapore still open for burials. The cost of booking a burial for an adult is $315.00 and for a child it is $140.00.

There are three crematoria in Singapore – one government-managed crematorium and two private crematoria.

Or in the case of "scattering of the ashes at sea" you need to note the following:

Ashes may also be scattered at sea. The scattering of small amounts of ashes can be carried out at the designated site located about 1.5 nautical miles (2.8 km) south of Pulau Semakau. The scattering of ashes can be conducted daily, from 0700 hrs-1900 hours.

Though this Government site is very helpful with all procedures relating to a death.
the above image is of the a couple of the hearses that can be used (off website / not mine)

Some of the advertisments can be rather amusing to those that are not used to this type of funeral or arranging of same.

Casket Fairprice - advertises as a One Stop Funeral Service.

Singapore Casket - provides Air Conditioned Parlours with wireless internet, or parlours with TV, audio and a sofa!

One even offers a funeral for $3000.00 ... but that is negotiable.

Then there is the Buddhist Funeral being offered at Nirvana Memorial Columbarium with the IPod Touch controlling lighting, sound etc ....

Death need not be a grim affair, especially for the living. At a new columbarium in Singapore, the deceased can depart, rock concert style.  Unlike most traditional Buddhist funeral ceremonies that follow cremation, there is no incense and no monks offering prayers at the Nirvana Memorial Garden columbarium, where the urns holding the remains of the dead are stored.

Instead, curtains draw automatically to reveal the deceased’s urn which is placed atop a pedestal, machine-generated smoke fills the prayer hall and a booming recorded voice, accompanied by chants, speaks words of comfort and talks about death. The columbarium boasts a $2 million sound and light system. Its resident Buddha statue pulsate gently with LED lights and, as a final touch, a ray of bright white light shines on the urn of the deceased symbolising the ascent to heaven.

But click HERE to read what they have to offer.

Another blog I read recently about customs and funerals is HERE.

The Chinese funeral ceremony - what I saw today - and the procession of the dead depends upon the financial resources of the family. The burial of the dead is a very serious matter to the Chinese, they believe that improper funeral arrangements will cause bad fortune.
Special clothing must be worn by the family members of the deceased. The children and daughters-in-law wear black with a sackcloth hood while the grandchildren wear blue.

The Chinese are superstitious people who believe funerals are filled with bad omens. Money which they called "white gold" are given to the bereaved families for the funeral expense. Modern day families sometimes request that donation should be made to charities instead.

whoever you were
you had a wonderful send off with many friends


my brick wall search said...

How interesting to see how other cultures conduct a ritual needed all over the world. Thankyou for this Leone, we often get caught up with our own interpretations on how things should be done.
Although Australian funerals are changing a little from what they were a number of years ago and are now celebrating the life of.

James said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. I moved from Singapore last year and miss many of the things you write about. In this case, you've shown pictures taken from the condo where I used to live. It is very nice to see those familiar sites again (yes - including the funeral - I've seen my share of those too).