Burials in Africa can be daunting experience especially for those who are living below the poverty belt. We have seen a wretched man buried in pomp and loudness while impoverishing the family the more. The cost of burials can be heart-bleeding. There are places where a low budget burial can bring ridicule to the bereaved family. The question reminds why wasn’t this money spend on the person while living? Many people are recognized more in death than when they are alive.
In places like Kisii, Kenya they bury the dead within a week. Everyone wears black or a somber color. They have a vigil then service and burial. Their tradition does not allow a fire to burn in a home where there is mourning. Food is brought by friends.
It is custom for friends and family to contribute for burial. At funeral they usually serve water, maybe soda(mineral) not food as one does not want to further burden the bereaved. Music is only gospel choirs. A widow is to wear black and turn her clothes inside out.
However, in West Africa, you are in for the biggest culture shock especially in Nigeria. The festive vibe at funerals can be bigger than a wedding. The colorful Aso ebi, the food, bands etc but most of all it was length of time between death and burial.
We fully understand its culture but it places a heavy burden on bereaved family. What are your thoughts? When a person dies in a poor family, relatives no longer cry because they miss the dead, they cry because of the huge cost of burial. Sometimes, they borrow or sell plots of land to afford a burial.
This expensive burial tradition is something this present generation ought to discard. Culture is beautiful but any culture that will stress out the family and the kids be damned. However, many people are getting tired of this type of wedding.
Absolutely. The best way to cut off all the wahala of “tradition” is for the deceased to state what they want in the will they leave. It will make life easy for the loved ones left behind. Millions HATE the craze that burials have become in a place Nigeria. Some places the post burial is even more expensive. Kindreds are given either goats or cow and the cooking for visitors seem unending.
The kids of the deceased often end up in conditions worse than they were after the burial. If there are no rich uncle or aunty to support, many pull out of school. Expensive burials have become a sucking blood demon on the fresh of Africans who are held bounds by culture and self imposed standard.
It may be nearly impossible to stop this act because there is no written law that demands a funeral must be expensive. In many places, elderly people who die very old are celebrated instead of turning the family into mourning while the death of the young ones are not seen right. Rich families don’t spare anything in burying their loved ones. Since many people are not willing to be laughing stock of a community, they go out to borrow money to conduct a burial. Just like how loans are affecting many African countries, likewise burial is making more families in the continent poorer.