Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cultural Difference part III

I attended the funeral of our co-worker last Saturday (3 weeks after she passed away) and the funeral was quite different than anything I had ever seen. We promptly arrived at 9:15 expecting traffic and for a 10 am start. Everyone else showed up at 10:00 am and started singing Hyms (Church of Christ Style) and the sound people and the video crew all set up. I didnt recongise the first few hyms but then they started Amazing Grace and that is sweet in any tounge, even Liberian English. after an hour of singing the crew was ready to start. Part of the service involved groups close to the deceased to give tribute. The group goes to the front, says something about the person, lays a wreath at the casket. The program had 10 groups for tribute. Two hours later the 20th group made its way to the front. We had been there for four hours in the swealtering heat and we left as quietly as we could to try not to be disrespectful. I think it is a correlation of how you lived your life and how many tributes you ahve at your funeral. However the difference was too much for me, as I think in America the wailing and beating on the casket and the tributes as well as the video cameras would just be too much for the familes.

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