Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Filipino Send Off

One of my best beloved’s uncles died last Friday and over the past few days the family has been holding a wake. Up to 4 generations have been gathering at the uncle’s house where he has been lying in state.

His coffin has the place of honour at the front of the compound, but such is the size of the gathering that marquees had been erected in the street outside the house. There family members congregate after paying their respects. Food and soft drinks are regularly dispensed, gossip is exchanged and games of chance are played.

On the evening I attended there were 2 games of poker being played by the adults, albeit for low stakes, and a game of bingo for the kids. Visiting relative’s cars blocked off access to street on either side of the marquees.

There was no animosity from neighbours at this restriction to free access to their homes. In fact, a group of neighbours manned the entrance to the street advising motorists to find an alternative route.


Anonymous said...

Yes - in other cultures (not western) there is a real appreciation that death is living.

Anonymous said...

A death in a Filipino family is always seen as an opportunity for family members to gather together and update themselves on each others' lives. More than an occasion to remember the life of the dear departed one, it is a way of renewing and strengthening ties within the family. You often see more family members attending a wake than a reunion on any other occasion.

Henry Bateman said...

Thanks for your input Blue and Anna. This wake went on for several days to allow relatives from overseas to get back to the islands and pay their respects.

Omni said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. :-(