Death is not the end
Fascinating funeral traditions
from around the globe
Joins us while we learn more about the origins, offerings, food, music and art of the Mexican the Day of the Dead, the Día de Muertos!
From the Yanomami human soup and Wari’ cannibalism to Brazilian Candomblé rites, we explore the origins and purpose of these death practices!
Discover Aboriginal death customs, including ‘sorry business’ and avoidance practices! Also check out modern Australian funeral options.
Join us while we visit Cuba, learn more about religious syncretism, Santería practices and socialist funerals, including Fidel Castro’s!
Discover the world funeral traditions
Funeral rites, burial traditions and death customs are as much about death as they are about life.
These ceremonies are full of symbolism, allow for the living to come to terms with their loss but also celebrate the life of the deceased. Finding culturally appropriate ways to express grief is something most of us have to experience in our life. It is, thus, essential to be prepared for our own inevitable death or the loss of a loved one.
We at Myend think that we can learn a lot about ourselves by getting acquainted with how various cultures around the world deal with the death of their loved ones, try to find positive meaning through their loss, as well as prepare for their own end.
Life & Death
Life and death are more interconnected than most people expect, death rituals are known to mourn the dead or celebrate the living. In some cases, certain burial rites can bring even more death to a community (see Ebola in West Africa) whereas in other contexts the dead can make the living stronger (see Hanging Coffins in the Philippines).
Death has been also perceived as a rite of passage, both of the soul of the deceased as well as their surviving loved ones (for example Saami Shamanism). There are also occasions when death and burials are considered too expensive and sometimes, due to lack of space, funeral rites have to be altered (for instance Hong Kong and Nigeria), highlighting more practical sides of it.
"It is hard perhaps to imagine life without death, but it is inconceivable to imagine death without life"
Death Customs Around the World
Death rituals can be simple and somber or grandiose celebrations, and the dead themselves are sometimes feared and other times they are revered as ancestral spirits. Moving beyond death itself, there are multiple peoples and ethnic groups around the world, for which spending time with the dead takes a whole new meaning (see the homeless of Manila).
Sometimes, death is made fun of (See the Mexican Day of the Dead) or feared (for example, Modernism in Sweden), and the dead themselves may be revered in multiple forms or be left in peace away from the living. In other cases the loss of a loved one can bring families and communities together (see Famadihana in Madagascar and Nigerian burials)
The Myend Mission
Tradition and modernity pour into each other, constantly changing the landscape of burial customs. In this blog we are exploring ancient, medieval and modern customs, while we also investigate the role of new technologies – such as Myend’s e-will – where applicable.
Here at Myend we offer you opportunities to be in control of your own personal will, sharing your wishes with your loved ones and, in a way, we help you to be better prepared for your own end. Therefore, in an effort to better understand ourselves and our cultural background regarding death, it is perhaps worth it to explore how different cultures around the world perceive death and dying.
Most recent culture trips
Explore Nigeria, while investigating Igbo’s second burial, learning more about Islamic Hausa death rites and Yoruba notions of good death.
Explore the Arctic vastness of Greenland and learn more about indigenous Inuit death beliefs, as well as the mysterious suicide clusters.
Visit the mysterious Nubian Pyramids and learn more about ancient Kush burial practices as well as modern Islamic funeral customs in Sudan!
Romania offers very alternative death customs, a Merry Cemetery and a Royal funeral for the King of Gypsies. Let’s explore them together!