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Q: What is the protocol at a Chinese funeral?

Sooner or later I will have to attend one

and unfortunately it might come around very soon

What are the do's and don'ts for this?

If I ask the wife I will still be waiting for a answer into the next life time

Im guessing Black is out and white is in for starters

 

7 years 2 weeks ago in  Culture - China

 
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  1. Mourning
    • It is customary for the Chinese to practice a period of mourning for 100 days after the funeral of an adult male. According to the China Culture website--a piece of colored cloth is worn visibly on the sleeve of every family member. The children of the dead wear black, grandchildren wear blue, and if there are any great-grandchildren, they wear green.

    Significance

    • Each family member holds a different level of importance. Elders are given the highest amount of respect whereas children are given almost no respect at all. When an elder dies, he is given the proper funeral rites practiced in the Chinese culture, which includes a gathering of the family, covering up mirrors so that no bad luck--such as another death--occurs, and a viewing of the body.

       

      The Chinese believe that an elder should always be respected, and that elders do not have to show any respect to children. Therefore, if a child dies, their death and burial occurs in silence, and the funeral rites received by an elder are not received by a child.

    Beliefs

    • According to the Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, if a Chinese person dies, it is customary for women to prepare the body instead of the men because they believe in the risk of pollution. This means that the woman is sacrificing her health in place of a man's health.

       

      If for any reason a person meets an unexpected and bad ending--such as an accident--the family of the deceased refuses to touch the body. This is especially the case if a suicide occurs because it is believed that touching the body will bring the family bad luck.

       

    Customs

    • The grieving etiquette of the Chinese differs from many other cultures. Although the Chinese do follow much of the same traditions as Western burials, there are still significant differences. Cremation is not commonly practiced. During the funeral and grieving process, the family will burn certain goods so that the smoke of the burned items carries these goods up to their loved ones for use in the afterlife.

    Tip

    • If you are extended an invitation to a funeral that will be practiced by another culture, such as the Chinese, it is best to learn the funeral and grieving etiquette that follows before attending. Even the smallest misunderstanding can prove to be disrespectful toward the family of the deceased.

 

At the Funeral

  Instructions

    • 1

      Write a note expressing your sadness for the loss of the deceased. If you knew the deceased well, it is appropriate to write about a special memory. You could include a verse or poem, either composed by you or copied from another source, along with your note.

    •  
    • 2

      Wear conservative clothing to the viewing or funeral. Black or dark colors are not required but are acceptable. The family usually wears white, which is the color associated with sadness. Wearing red to a Chinese funeral is considered extremely poor taste because red is associated with happiness and prosperity.

    • 3

      Remove your shoes before entering if the funeral is in a temple. Doing so is a sign of respect for the building, the deceased and his or her family.

    •  
    • 4

      Bow when you approach the family and/or view the body. Nothing needs to be said. You do not need to shake hands. The simple bow willl convey your condolences very well.

    •  
    • 5

      Place poems, calligraphy or a gift of money in or near the casket. This honors the deceased. If you give money, never give an even amount. For example, instead of leaving $10 or $52, leave $11 or $53. Odd amounts cannot be divided equally between two people. One person will always have more than the other. The symbolism behind leaving an odd amount of money is that you are wishing the best for the deceased and the family.

    •  
    • 6

      Send white or yellow flowers. Gifts of flowers are common at Chinese funerals in the same way that people give food or flowers in a Western funeral. Make sure the florist understands not to use any red flowers, a red vase or any red decorations in the arrangement.

    •  
    • 7

      Open the white envelope that the family may have distributed. Some families give a small piece of candy in a white envelope to each person at the funeral. This is to remind people that life has its sweetness among the bitterness. When you remove the candy, immediately discard the white envelope, which represents sadness.

 

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7 years 2 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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There was one outside my window last weekend...

The noisiest thing i have ever experienced i think...

orchestra and marching, Min nan opera, Chinese 'techno' with girls dancing on a stage...at one point all of that at the same time...

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7 years 2 weeks ago
 
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981977405 great information.

 

It is worth checking up on any local differences, or family traditions. As long as you are dressed appropriately most things will be straightforward. Despite lots of things being different, the concept is the same as that of a western funeral, to pay the last respect and say goodbye. 

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7 years 2 weeks ago
 
Posts: 33

Governor

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What a great explanation by 981977405. I never knew there was so much significance to a Chines funeral. How did you learn all that?  Are you Chinese and if not what book did you read. I'd love to get my hands on a book that explains stuff like this.

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7 years 2 weeks ago
 
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Some good advice above for funerals.  But it depends if they're buddhists or not - in buddhist funerals I've seen people dressed in white, dancing around in a circle and banging drums.  And I am seriously not sh*tting you.

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6 years 20 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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Do act yourself....Don't act foolish....Do comfort the famlly members or try to....Don't start any fights while you're there....Do pay respects to the deceased by putting a flower next to the casket....Don't stare.....Do let the elders speak or do what they have to first....Don't speak over the elders...

 

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6 years 19 weeks ago

There are cookies, bookies and too many rookies for me to sit here trying to be a hooky! Looky Looky don't call me a wooky. Touchy Touchy Feely Feely Spicy Spicy Nicey Nicey & that's what the doctor Ordered!!

 
Posts: 9197

Emperor

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Looking for a new wife? I'd look for Sparkey and send her off too. Why waste a good funeral?

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6 years 19 weeks ago
 
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Something that I'm not sure has been mentioned but my ex told me:

The family of the deceased is not supposed to go to sleep until the funeral.

 

Maybe I misunderstood her, but that's what I was told. (Maybe someone can confirm this?)

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6 years 19 weeks ago
 
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Well it finally happened , My poor wife lost her mum last week . I got her on a plane within hours but I couldn't go with her even if I wanted too. My Brother in-law stayed with their Mum at the Morgue till the funeral and till the sisters could get their to have their turn watching over her , My Brother in-law did not sleep for 3 days  . They told their Dad the day before the funeral . I have No idea when she is coming home but I hope it is soon

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6 years 9 weeks ago
 
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do not smile to anyone at anytime.  do nothing but showing them you are too in sorrow.

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6 years 6 weeks ago
 
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https://www.scmp.com/video/china/2157674/coffins-seized-and-smashed-china-under-zero-burial-policy

 

I wonder if they will take away Confucious and Mao's coffins in the crackdown. We have to fair about this.

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1 year 6 weeks ago
 
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