In America, burials are straightforward, simple, and solemn, and once the deceased is in the ground they tend to stay there. But some cultures think that isn’t enough to honor the memory of the departed.
In the Indonesian village of Toraja, not only are funeral services a highly elaborate affair, but the dead are celebrated in a way that you might find a little unsettling.
In the village of Toraja death is a part of life.
Once a year in this Indonesian town, the dearly departed are removed from their graves.
They are meticulously groomed, and given a new set of clothing.
This ceremony is called Ma’nene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses.
After being dressed, they are paraded through the village in a show of respect and love.
It is believed that if you die outside of the village, your soul will be restless forever.
This ritual is commonplace and even practiced on children and infants.
The dead are still very much considered to be members of the community.
It might seem strange to us, but the villagers think it would be strange not to do this.
Every culture has their own way of remembering and grieving for the dead.
I don’t think I’d want my family parading my corpse around when my time comes, but it’s actually pretty touching how these people care for their loved ones, even in the next life.
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