Funeral Traditions in Cambodia

by K-Berens

Buddhist Monks in the Preah Khan Temple in the Angkor Complex at Siem Reap Cambodia. Preah Khan was built by King Jayavarman VII during the late 12th Century.

Roughly 96% of Cambodians practice Therevada Buddhism, which gives an idea about how Cambodians celebrate their funerals. Most Buddhists do not think of death as the end of a life, but as the end of a life cycle.

When a person dies, the body is taken care of by the immediate family. They are responsible for washing and dressing the corpse, and placing it in the coffin. The body is not embalmed or even dissected because they believe that it will have a negative impact on one’s rebirth.

After three days, the body is brought to the crematorium by a funeral procession with a priest, Buddhist monks and family members. Mourners may shave their heads and wear white clothing as a sign of grief, in Cambodia, white is the color of mourning. The body is then cremated and the ashes are kept in the temple, close to the monks who assist the soul begin the next life cycle.

On the seventh and one hundredth days after the death, another ceremony is held to honor the dead.

Read more:

http://ethnomed.org/clinical/end-of-life/death-in-cambodian-buddhist-culture

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