By Tong Chee Kiong
Via a cultural research of the symbols of dying - flesh, blood, bones, souls, time numbers, nutrition and funds - Chinese dying Rituals in Singapore throws mild upon the chinese language conception of demise and the way they deal with its eventuality. within the seeming mass of spiritual rituals and ideology, it means that there's an underlying common sense to the rituals. This in flip leads Kiong to check the interrelationship among demise and the socioeconomic price procedure of China as a complete.
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Additional info for Chinese Death Rituals in Singapore
12 Most informants are aware of the existence of Hell and the punishments found there. Although it is accepted that there is always the possibility that the deceased may not complete the journey through Hell, the thought that one’s own parents are 38 CHINESE DEATH RITUALS IN SINGAPORE stranded in Hell is never entertained. Other people’s dead may get trapped in Hell; one’s own never does. The performance of the zhuan lun rituals attest to the idea that the deceased has been given a rebirth. The certainty that one’s parents are reincarnated is due to the conviction that the very enactment of the death rituals is a means to ensure that one’s parents will have a smooth journey through Hell.
The chief priest summons family members to kneel before the shen zuo, staggered according to the generational hierarchy. Three priests, dressed in white robes, stand at the shen zuo and begin to chant. These chants revolve around the idea of informing the deities of the rituals being carried out for the deceased. Seventy-two documents are issued; thirty-six yellow documents to inform the deities in heaven, and thirty-six white documents to the deities in Hell. While chanting, the 36 CHINESE DEATH RITUALS IN SINGAPORE priest holds a tablet in his hand.
It is also a final attempt to communicate with the deceased before his coffining. The coffin is then nailed shut, a nail in each corner. After the four nails have been hammered in, a fifth one called the zi-sunding, or “posterity nail,” is placed at the center of the coffin by the eldest son. ” The coffin is then carried out of the home and placed under the canopy which is a huge rectangular structure made of wood and canvas constructed near the home of the deceased that is the site of the funeral rituals.