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Seeking advice for attending a funeral

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  1. #11

    Join Date
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    A funeral is called a white occasion, for unlucky things an odd number is used, just like something is missing.

    A wedding is called a red occasion, for happy occasions everything must be in even numbers, just like a couple is in an even number.


  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Tai Hang
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    whatever you do, don't wear red. It sybolises happiness. Stick with White or Black.


  3. #13

    cheers all.

    another final question to add to the anomaly.

    concerning the 'bak gum'. as i shall be going with my partner, do we give one envelope from the both of us, or one envelope per person?

    thanks again


  4. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    HK
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    Put the money in one envelope is okay. But remember the final amount must be odd number. And you should take TWO 'guk yee', I suppose you meant 2 people.


  5. #15

    I must say, I am not nearly as supersticious (ok i KNOW i spelt that wrong, lol)


  6. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    I've gotten really superstitious about the number 4 recently. I avoid 4's at all cost now...lol


  7. #17

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    250

    Very detailed answer xiaoma2. Thanks.

    Wish this thread came up earlier though.

    I was instructed to give "bak gum" of $300 (not $301) at a recent service. Hope that wasn't a serious faux paus.


  8. #18

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    HK
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    Just the tradition. Won't get punishment if you didn't know. I even brought the 'guk yee' home for the first time I went to a funeral. Nothing really bad happened, up to the moment. Take it easy.


  9. #19

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    HK
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    More traditional people will insist on stepping over burning paper gold/silver before entering the house after a funeral. Btw, there is no 4/F or 14/F in my building.


  10. #20

    Hi All,

    Just returned from the funeral which was very interesting. I thought I'd share the experience with you as it's quite an interesting and important event.

    It was held in a room in a funeral parlour where friends and relatives were free to congregate and pay their last respects to my uncle (who was available for viewing if one wanted - which I thought was a bit strange. I didn't have a look, preferring to remember him when he was alive - not that we really knew each other very well - in fact, the last time I saw him, he asked who I was which was quite amusing). Burial is scheduled for tomorrow and I was told that seeing as I'd paid my respects today, there was no need to attend tomorrow.

    The atmosphere was very relaxed. Although my uncle died suddenly, he was 80+ so he'd been around long enough to have experienced life to the full (unlike the funeral next door that was being held for a child of about 6 or 7 - very sad).

    There was a man with a microphone at the front announcing the arrival of new mourners. He would then guide them through the ritual of bowing (three times to the picture of my uncle and once to the immediate family - slightly different to xiaoma2's description. I wonder why?) We then sat down chatting amongst ourselves for a while. The immediate family also came to have a chat whenever they had a spare minute from receiving mourners.

    Oh yes, when we walked into the room, we each had to sign our names and hand over the white envelope. We had to write our names on the envelope. In return, we each received a paper envelope. After we left the funeral parlour, we opened up the packet. Inside, was a sweet - to take away the bitterness of losing a loved one/friend..., a tissue - to wipe away any tears (and not to 'wipe your mouth after eating the sweet' as one mischievous cousin told me) and money - which I am still not sure what it represents, but, we spent it as soon as we left the building.

    There weren't any paper offerings. I guess that'll come with the burial tomorrow. However, at the entrance to the building, I saw a very impressive paper car (about 2m long) a very intricate 3 storey paper building and a 2m long paper aeroplane. If it comes to fruition, the recipient(s) of these offerings could well be the next Li Ka Shing or Donald Trump in there next life.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    ps. I wore a black suit. Everyone else was very casual - dark coloured/black jeans, sweater, jacket...

    gigglinggal likes this.

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