We have completely lost the plot when it comes to funerals

2017-04-27 06:01
opinionthembile ndabeni

opinionthembile ndabeni

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Respect and integrity are features that define us as Africans or Blacks.

Every belief, ceremony or occasion was practised with respect and integrity, a funeral being one of the most.

The dress-code had to fit the occasion. People never drank even African beer or brought or allowed children near the funeral.

Drunken people would hide from a funeral. Some would doff their hats and give way in a show of respect.

People would will speak in quiet tones during a funeral.

Today people attend funerals smelling of liquor and in a drunken state.

They even drink in the early morning of the funeral. They also look for the closest shebeen if the funeral service takes long.

After the funeral they have after tears. To them it’s an act or status of some kind. Sometimes it is the members of the family in the forefront, even in prayer services (imithandazo).

I am not only talking about kids but adults, what are the children to learn from such behaviours.

Some neighbours continue to make noise as if nothing is happening.

Even as people come back from the cemetery, they continue to drink.

Sometimes they would be swearing and doing funny things and not even wait for the funeral to be over.

In the past children were not allowed at all because a funeral was seen as not a children thing but the elders’. We just accepted what we were told and it helped us.

That instilling of fear to us by elders did help us a lot. There were things we grew up just be told about and not ask questions.

Today’s children are completely different. In the funeral service and the transport to the cemetery they don’t give seats to elders.

In the transport they steal the show, making noise, showing disrespect as if to challenge others to say something.

Reluctant as I am to raise the issue of colours but it suffices. People know the attributes of colours, but they ignore that when it comes to funeral.

Colours that makes you look like a butterfly, I do not think are good for funerals, for two reasons: Firstly for the environment of the funeral. Secondly, you are diverting attention of the funeral to you.

Then there is the issue of dressing to kill, which is too much elaborate for the funeral because that also diverts attention.

Chatting during the service whether it is at the venue or cemetery is another matter.

In conclusion, we are losing tract of who we are every second, minute, hour day, month and year.

I don’t understand how come elders join youth instead of the kids learning from the elders. When it comes to wrong things, we are copycats of the West, slaves.

But when it comes to good things we are not. Descent dress code does matter to funerals.

Britain being the strongest country in currency and perhaps second after the USA in many respects, at funerals the British wears descent black. The worst is izigcebhezane. It is not always only children who don’t dress with respect and integrity but elders as well. If elders don’t pay their last respects in a befitting manner, who will? Unless there is a valid reason children have no business being at funerals. Africans, it is time to rediscover ourselves!

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