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End of Life Traditions - Worldview

Updated: Sep 11, 2020



Traditions contribute to a sense of comfort and belonging; they bring families and communities together and allow people to reconnect. Traditions are often passed down from generation to generation, although many families start new traditions of their own.


Funerals are one such occasion that are deeply rooted in tradition. Communities all over the world honor the lives of their lost loved ones, though it may look very different from region to region. Here are a few global funeral traditions:


South Korea | In South Korea, where cremation is a popular choice, many families opt to compress the ashes of their loved ones into gem-like beads. These burial beads become a keepsake to be cherished in a unique way.  Ghana | "Fantasy Coffins" are common in Ghana burial traditions, as they represent the work or passion of the deceased. For example, family and friends can arrive at the memorial services to find an oversized sneaker shaped coffin for their friend that loved a cool new pair of shoes.   Uganda | Among the Luo people of Northern Uganda, it is a common practice for the body of the deceased to remain in their home for an evening or two before the burial. This practice allows the spirit of the deceased to say goodbye to their home.  New Orleans | Right here in the US there are unique, geographical traditions surrounding burials. In New Orleans, marching bands are often used to celebrate life. The band starts with sorrowful pieces but following the burial, move into upbeat tunes. Dancing is often involved to honor the life of the deceased. When planning for the burial services of a loved one, Farewell Partners can help honor your version of tradition. Credit: ideas.ted.com

Photo: Jean-Michel Rousset/CC BY-SA

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