19 Dec 2010 – Neighbourhood Happenings
Strange happening when I was sitting at the gazebo or pavilion (what does one call these here in SIN?) to wait for my ride. It was raining, a van pulled aside and out came an Indian man in red overalls. He climbed the tree to break off branches from the tree and let it fall to the ground. First thought was that maybe he was trimming the tree… out with my camera! When he realized what I was doing after the flash, like a flash he climbed down, gathered the branches of leafs, came to me holding the branches both palms together with the traditional Indian greeting of namaste. Not that I was going to report him or anything of that sort but it perplex and intrigues me… is the leaf eatable?
Another wake and funeral but this one is an interesting one with the full rituals including the burning of the paper-made worldly processions for the deceased’s next life to the netherworld. The Egyptians also believed that they could take their worldly processions into the underworld, same ideas, another variation! The chanting, etc started early Fri evening and yesterday morning with the brass band (to frighten away the spirits & ghosts) leading the cortege of people across the T-junction where they boarded the buses to take them to either the burial grounds or the crematorium. RIP to the deceased.
For the Chinese, a decent funeral is considered one of the most important acts of filial piety to one’s parents and elders. My dear children, when my life’s journey is over please let me go quietly and peacefully, no need with acts of filial piety, ie rituals, ceremonies, etc. The gracious decent beings you are (during my life’s journey) and hopefully continue to be (after my life’s journey) are your acts of filial piety.
A peasant dies calmly because he is not a Christian. He performs the rituals as a matter of course, but his true religion is different. His religion is nature, with which he has lived – Tolstoy