An image from a Balinese cremation.
The funerals I’ve attended have all been very much the same. Relatives and friends arrive in all black and take seats in the church or synagogue pews for a somber ceremony where prayers are said, memories are shared and tears are shed. The attendees walk slowly out to their cars and form a single file line a behind the hearse, arriving at the graveyard where they place roses on the casket just before it’s lowered into the ground. Then, they proceed to the immediate family’s home, where the doorbell rings with a steady stream of loved ones — casserole dishes in hand — since, in the days ahead, people often forget to eat.
[ted_talkteaser id=1832]In her TED talk, cultural anthropologist Kelli Swazey shares with us a different approach to memorializing the dead. In Tana Toraja in eastern Indonesia, funerals are raucous affairs involving…
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