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ZWELITHINI MATSOSO
 
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Funeral traditions

04 September 2013, 19:05

It is tradition amongst various professions and tribes to exhibit the acts that the deceased was fond of while still alive at his or her funeral, a typical example one can depict is that of when a Police or a soldier has died, guns are exploded, whereas at the funeral of a politician it is still more politics in a sense that political songs are sang at the loudest tone.

The purpose of showcasing all the things that the deceased appreciated most is believed to be an element that can add value to the peaceful rest of the deceased, although I believe there is no justification to these.

To the best of my knowledge, the mentioned professions being Police, soldiers and politicians carry this function of exploding guns or singing political songs with utmost dignity such that it does not appear to be a disgraceful act in one’s eyes but rather a meaningful one. A moment ago a current Affairs show, Sunday Live on SABC1 revealed two provocative footages of young individuals holding a coffin correspondingly dancing on the street as if they were on a Township wedding procession.

While I was still stunned by the footage in question the other incident was that of young women who unapologetically shook their bodies off alongside the grave in response to a house track that which according to my own surveillance was meant to electrify the masses at the cemetery(footagehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhIwsLzXj9U).

In addition to these, there have been some shallow justifications on social networks as far as these events are concerned, some folks have been trying so hard to convince themselves that the individuals who attended these two funerals are not guilty of anything they were simply expressing their last farewells to the deceased, I designate that an insult to our customs.

The events that became apparent at the mentioned Youth attended Funerals left a sense of discomfort in me. For many years I always knew a funeral to be a platform to sympathise with the family and friends of the deceased, beyond that, to express an intense grief followed by mourning which will in return bring closure to those who have lost their loved one and to acknowledge that the loved one has permanently left.

The purpose of the attendees at the Funeral was to provide a support system towards the family of the deceased not to exotically dance at a funeral guided by the “See me, I am not embarrassed and I do not care” personality. In the light of these events, I happen to wonder as to where were the elderly, how on earth did they allow such wickedness to take place?

Lately the method of conducting funerals has drastically changed, the respect we once had for funerals has diminished. The method of carrying out Funerals in the 21st Century has escalated to an even more awful level than dancing in an objectionable skirt next to a coffin; Funerals have become a very costly ceremony which so far the family members are not shy to flaunt their last bit of savings in order to purchase a casket of the value up to R15, 000.00, a tombstone with a price tag not reflecting an amount less than R40, 000.00 not to mention the unveiling ceremony and the cutting edge culinary expertise showcased of which all these costs deprive the dependants of the deceased their  last financial assets that they could be utilising to make a living.

In the event that families cannot afford to raise these funds, individuals resort to loan sharks. Folks habitually fool themselves with the saying “we want to bury the deceased with dignity” in Actual fact the deceased is buried by means of debt and that is not dignified at all, the aim of engaging in costly burials is because folks are so concerned about who will say what and those whose gossip is being bribed away by a costly funeral which favour do they return? Absolutely nothing despite another gossip centred on the wastage of money the dependants of the deceased soaked themselves in.

With the quantity of deaths experienced of late in the 21st century I am certain that it comes as a curse brought by the exotic dance moves demonstrated at the funerals and on the other hand grief being expressed in monetary terms, if all these are already tormenting us now, I pity our descendants.


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