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Seeking advice for attending a funeral

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  1. #1

    Seeking advice for attending a funeral

    Hi,

    Apologies for the morbidity, but I am to attend a funeral of a relative this Friday and I am not entirely sure what I should do in terms of traditions, dress .....

    As I have never attended a funeral before, I'd greatly appreciate any useful info.

    I was told that as far as dress code was concerned, casual wear would be fine (casual as in t-shirt and jeans which I find hard to believe - but what do I know?).

    Thanks


  2. #2

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    When in doubt, err on the side of caution. I'd wear a suit with no tie (tie in my pocket, just in case).


  3. #3

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    I guess it depends on the traditions of the relevant culture or religion. In europe, a dark suit with a black tie is always a safe bet.

    If you dont want to wear a suit you should probably wear something 'smart casual' and stick to the dark colours - bright yellow isnt a colour normally associated with funerals.


  4. #4

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    Wear black just like a western funeral. If it's your relative, ask another relative if you have to give his family a "guk yee", something like a lai see but we don't call it a lai see, because it's not a happy occasion. You may pay $101 for a guk yee. The envelope is available at the entrance of the room of the funeral. Remember to put your name on it. Take the candy inside the guk yee and eat it, use the one dollar inside the guk yee, don't take it home.

    If it's a Chinese funeral (they may have western one if they are Christians), then you have to put 3 incense sticks and bow 3 times to the family. Then sit for a while, have a chat with the relatives and leave. If it's a western funeral, be prepared to sit for 1 hr for the sermon.


  5. #5

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    A dark suit is most suitable. You don't want to look like you just came away from the pub! Arrive with a local who will show you the procedure.


  6. #6

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    Casual wear, jeans + t-shirt, is okay. Shirt + jeans would be better. Chose black or dark blue. Don't wear anything in red, yellow, or their series.

    About the 'guk yee', it’s a small envelope you would receive, not give. What you should give is ‘Bak Gum’. But we usually don't put our name because it’s the only and last thing you do for the person passed away and you wouldn’t expect anything return, except you need a ‘thank you’ from his/her family. The amount MUST BE always an odd number ($101/501/1001 MUST BE CASH) and depends on how close you are and whether they need the money. Put it in a white envelope and pass it to the person at the entrance. Then MUST get back ‘guk yee’ for EACH person contribute the ‘Bak Gum’.

    When you’re inside, also depends, you may not need to light incense sticks, but if you do, pick 1 or 3 and after light them, DO NOT blow out the fire. Then 3 bows to the picture, then 3 bows to his/her family. There is a person make ‘instruction’, so just do what others do.

    When you leave, DO NOT turn back to see the picture IN ANY CASE. Just directly go out, then eat the candy, spend the money, DO NOT bring the ‘guk yee’ home. Go to drink or eat something before you go home. But if you’re close enough to have a meal after the funeral, no need to eat or drink again.

    gigglinggal likes this.

  7. #7

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    Sorry, mixed up the guk yee with the pak gum. Xiao ma is right, very detailed description.


  8. #8

    If they said casual is ok, you can't go wrong dressed completely in black...


  9. #9

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    That 101 thing is interesting, Indian people do the same thing when giving each other money as a gift....


  10. #10

    Thanks All,

    That's great info. I have another question: What is the significance of the odd numbers?


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