Funerals - Santiago, Recoleta

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RWS
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Post by RWS » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:48 am

I'm sorry for your friend and her family, EE.UU.

Based on very limited experience (one middle- to upper-middle-class funeral, Roman Catholic, Santiago), I'd urge you to wear a dark suit (or, at the very least, dark coat -- no shiny buttons! -- and tie), dark tie, white shirt. All the rest will come naturally: somber face, brief condolences, etc.

Do let us know how it turns out.

Gloria
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Post by Gloria » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:52 am

Sorry for the loss.Funerals are quick and uneventful.Bringing flowers or just being there is good enough.The cementery itself is beautiful and never ending, a city within a city.My parents are buried precisely in Recoleta.Just maybe after the short ceremony, they may stop to a "quita pena".
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Post by admin » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:17 pm

yea, I went to a funeral last year that was more or less the same story. Small church, prayers and comments by close family members, followed by the trip to the very large central cemetery. Far from being a wild party, or even being very sad.

The body was cremated as the person that died had died in the United States about 6 months before and it took that long to get all the various legal clearances to repatriate the ashes because the person had left Chile 35 years before. Customs and the embassy were being a pain about it all as normal. The head of the health department in Chile had to formally inform them that it does not get much more sterile than cremation (the health department recommended that the family just put the ashes in their suitcase and skip the paperwork).

We where in charge of handling a lot of the various preparations including finding out where the family plot was at (seems no one had used in about 50 years), booking the church, arranging for flowers and such.

It was fairly formal, but not super formal like you would find in the states. Black was more the favorite color of the people that attended, than some sort of dress code. People had all kinds of colors on.

This would likely constitute only the second funeral I have been to in my life (I am lucky not that many people I am close to have died on me, yet). So, I am far from an expert in tradition and funerals in any country.

RWS
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Post by RWS » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:59 pm

Thanks, EE.UU. and Charles, for relating your experiences. Based on these, on mine, and on Gloria's comments, I imagine Chilean funerals (or, at the least, Romanist Chilean funerals) to vary little, even by social class. Perhaps the Protestant funerals are much the same, too (that would be interesting to know, as Romanist funerals in the States seem to differ markedly from Protestant ones).

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tombrad2
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Post by tombrad2 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:50 am

Here in Arica funerals are quite pintoresque, if the dead is notorious the "cortejo" is headed by the municipal brass band playing march in a sad mood, nobody wear black suit or such because this kind of clothes are not used here, everyone go at their wish, besides the band is the mortuory car and a group of people by foot, walking by the street, and at last the cars and buses if any.

on people by foot, the first two lines are the most close relatives and they go sad, but as long as the line go behind people is chatting and jocking a lot, it is not bad behaivour to joke in funerals to certain level, just to relieve the tension. Funerals are social ocassion when old pals and relatives meet and after the family usually make a big dinner "para quitar la pena" where people has license to laugh and goosip a little.

It is great to die here! people make fun on the event
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Post by admin » Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:58 pm

Happy day of the dead everyone. :twisted: :lol: :shock:

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tombrad2
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Post by tombrad2 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:55 pm

Near Arica, in Azapa cementery today there is a big party in the cementery, people go there with family and make asados besides the tombs, bands of brass music and lot of drink to celebrate the deads day, it is very pintoresque.
http://www.academia.cl/rev_antrop_visua ... _solar.htm
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RWS
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Post by RWS » Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:21 am

admin wrote:Happy day of the dead everyone. :twisted: :lol: :shock:
Happy All Saints' Day.

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Post by RWS » Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:23 am

(Or, if you'd rather be really old-fashioned, a blessed All Hallows'.)

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Re: What happened at the tomb the day before the funeral

Post by RWS » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:08 pm

Thank you, EE.UU., for telling us this. I've long suspected (from visits to Chilean kinsmen and friends, short residence in Buenos Aires, etc.) that something like this occurs but never knew certainly.
eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:. . . . I wonder if I could ever do this very close-in contact work with bones, hair, casket remnants and dust and debris from the dead whether it be a stranger or family member?
Good question. I doubt that we could: northwestern European culture (which, Nikkei or not, is as a native American your native culture) is both too rational and, oddly, too distant from the necessary involvement. Hmm . . . ill-phrased on my part; after a day of disorientation in the wilds of northern Vermont, though, I can do no better.

I find these rites of kindness to the dead touching. I just don't know that I could participate with the feellings proper to the occasional, even though I'm grateful that others can. Perhaps someday. Or perhaps I'll never need to know.

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Post by admin » Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:14 am

In Guatemala everyone would go out and fly kites at the cemetery. It turned in to a real carnival atmosphere with kite contest and corporate sponsors for the teams. Some of the kites where around 6 to 9 meters across (yea, very hard to fly).

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Re: What happened at the tomb the day before the funeral

Post by Gloria » Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:20 pm

eeuunikkeiexpat wrote:
I wonder if I could ever do this very close-in contact work with bones, hair, casket remnants and dust and debris from the dead whether it be a stranger or family member?
I'm almost certain they chose to do it themselves but you can pay someone to do all the tidied up.I personally wouldn't do it, so it's a matter of choice.
I'm from the generation of common sense, wisdom and unfiltered answers. I sayeth as I seeth.

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