Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cultural difference Part I

Sadly, Last week one the local administrative assistance passed away last week and left two daughters and the rest of her family. The office has been in shock and she will be missed. I have noticed a few differences with how families here handle the death process. This is based on one tribe's way of doing things and is not how all Liberians handle things. The funeral setup is not just a family thing, coworkers, classmates, friends, everybody involved with the person sits in and has a say. After the death, friends, family, and community come to pay their respects by 'sitting on the mat' which is figuratively the last place the late person had been. They come sit on the mat to meet with the spirit of the person they are honoring. The family is required to feed all the people who come to the mat. This is very different than what I am accoustomed to, as folks prepare meals for the family goign throught the tradgedy. Funeral costs are about the same here as they are in the states, which is outrageous.

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