Countries around the world have different funeral customs. If your funeral home is asked to hold a funeral for someone from Thailand, it is important that you understand the process and traditions behind a Thai funeral.
Based In Buddhist Beliefs
Thai funerals, regardless of religious affiliation, are often grounded in Buddhist principles. Thailand has been a Buddhist country for many years, which is why Buddhist customs can be seen in most Thai funerals.
Buddhists see death as something that is universal and that everyone and everything must go through. Due to this belief, death is not supposed to be a sad occasion, nor are funerals. You will not see funeral attendees all dressed in black at a Thai funeral, nor will you see lots of outward expressions of sadness.
Instead, Thai funerals are a celebration of liberation. They are seen as a time to celebrate, not mourn. However, the celebration is slightly different from the celebration of life ceremonies and parties that have become popular in the United States. The celebration is not so much about the individual's life as it is about them becoming liberated from this life and moving on to the afterlife.
The 7 Day Waiting Period
After someone dies in Thai culture, it is customary to keep their corpse for seven days before they are then cremated. During the first six days, family and friends engage in prayers over the deceased body. In the evenings, monks are supposed to visit during the first six days and engage in evening prayers near the body.
On the seventh day, a celebration and service is held. Usually an older monk attends the service as a sign of respect, but another monk conducts the service. During the service, the coffin where the body is being held is covered with flowers, garlands and pictures. Prayers are said, and then the body is cremated. When the body is cremated, it is believed that their soul is released, where it able to continue onto the next stage in the after life.
During this service and ceremony, traditional Thai music is played and enjoyed. Services for individuals who enjoyed a high status or profile in life are often accompanied by a hired orchestra. Food is offered to all the guests, and it is typical to talk to one another during the event.
If someone with a Thai background comes to your funeral home, make sure that you ask what they want done to the body and make sure that you are able to follow their customs and traditions. The traditions outlined above are what a typical Thai funeral looks like; talk to your client to make sure the funeral or service that you provide them with meets their specific expectations.
If you are a Thai person looking for funeral services in the United States, call a few funeral homes like Taylor Funeral Home to see how they can accommodate your needs. Most will be ready and willing to work with you and fit their services to your customs.Share
31 December 2015
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