• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Death Customs and Beliefs in Different Cultures

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Death Customs and Beliefs in Different Cultures Every culture is different. They all have their own beliefs, customs, and traditions. But, all people are the same. We all are born, live, and die. Every culture handles death a little differently. Even though all cultures have differences, all cultures share common beliefs and traditions with some other cultures. All of us are also human, and experience the same emotions when we deal with emotional situations, like death. But even though we all share the same emotions, people in different cultures handle them differently. By knowing about different cultures, and what they believe and do about death, we become better people and are better equipped to deal with people from these different backgrounds. There is evidence that tells us about the burial customs and practices of ancient man, dating back to Neanderthal times, all the way up to present day. Little is known about the Neanderthals and what they believed, but there is evidence that they buried their dead with flowers (Ann Turner, 3), much like we do today. This shows that the Neanderthals showed some emotion or concern over the dead. Most of the burial practices indicated that people in early times believed that the dead were "sleeping". For example, they would bind the dead bodies in a curled up position, and bury them facing the sunrise (Turner, 4). ...read more.

Middle

"Muslims have this common tendency to start everything from the right," commented Said. Even after they have died, they are washed starting from the right side (Ennahid, 2). When placed in the grave, a white shroud is commonly worn. Other colors are allowed, but not red. The eyes of the dead are closed, they tie up the jaw, and the clothes are tied tightly, but then loosened once the body is placed in the grave (Ennahid, 2). This is similar to many other religions. Both the Islamic and Christian religions close the eyes of the dead. Many religions in the past have bound their dead. They may have bound their dead for the reasons of fear of the dead, but it is more likely that they do it now more out of tradition than out of any real fear. When an Islamic funeral procession passes along a street, the people sitting along it are obligated to stand as it passes, as a sign of respect (Ennahid, 3). This is similar to the tradition in some Christian religions where passers-by walk along with the procession or say a prayer. People in both of these cultures show respect for other people's loved ones when they die. There are other, non-monotheistic religions, such as that of the Native Americans. ...read more.

Conclusion

The one thought of most in recent times is for respect, but the original purpose of a tomb(stone) is just as likely to have been to hinder spirits in affecting the living. Tombstones may go back to the belief that ghosts may be "weighed down" (Turner, 124). The spirit would be bound to the tombstone, and be unable to affect the living. Many tombs, walled up with boulders and mounds of earth may have been for the same purpose (Turner, 124). Another purpose of tombs is to confuse the spirit. An example of this is placing a maze in the entrance (or exit, from the ghost's point of view). This was believed to be very effective since it was also believed that ghosts can only travel in a straight line. Another way used to keep a ghost way was to build it a nice, comfortable "house" (Turner, 124). Although there have been exceptions, the general rule has always been to keep spirits away from the living, and avoid them at all costs. Ghosts were thought to be stubborn and mean (Turner, 125). Every culture has some things in common with some of the other cultures, and all cultures include the same type of humans, with the same type of fears, needs, and all descend from the same ancestry cultures. Along with understanding the beliefs and customs of other cultures, we can obtain better understanding just by understanding and learning about our own culture and heritage. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. On the Tombs in Westminster Abbey, Death the Leveller, Ozymandias, My Busconductor and Let ...

    The caesura emphasises those three words by creating a pause which allows this fact to sink in. Shelley also creates the effect of the poem fading away to demonstrate the way Ozymandias and his empire had faded. The plosive sounds of the phrase, "boundless and bare," as well as the

  2. Dickinson's BECAUSE I COULD NOT STOP FOR DEATH

    89), extraordinarily ill at ease with other people, and the explosive and confident persona we encounter in so many of her poems. It is a disjunction he finds to be typical of poets. She has adopted what William Butler Yeats called the "poet's mask: the personality which was antithetical to her natural character and identical with her desire" (p.

  1. A Biographical Analysis of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

    The final aspect of the Mariner�s life that resembles that of Coleridge�s is evident when the sea captain acquires salvation. As a result of shooting the albatross, the Mariner undergoes a series of horrible misadventures. All of the crewmembers die and the captain is left to face the drought alone.

  2. "The Ancient Mariner".

    The ship experiences trials and tribulations just as a real person does. Its carrying the Mariner (symbolizing the individual soul) and crew shows that Coleridge saw the body as a mere vessel of the soul. This symbol of a boat is an especially powerful one, because one steers a ship

  1. A biographical analysis of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

    Throughout "The Rime," the Mariner is constantly traveling. In the beginning of his story, the captain travels south into the Antarctic region (Coleridge, 28). He then, after shooting the Albatross, goes on to travel throughout the Pacific and eventually finds his way back to land. In the end of the piece, the Mariner is compelled to wander throughout

  2. All Souls' Morning by Eamon Grennan

    Other descriptions used in the opening phrase to set the scene, such as the cat "scratching" the sofa, and the "thumping" furnace, creates a similar affect with the uses of onomatopoeia, and involves the reader with what he is reading.

  1. The changing tradition of war poetry

    This quote tells the reader that if you didn't go to war you will suffer in the future as you would be ashamed and guilty to tell your children what you did at war. The word "slink" describes how he leaves the conversation.

  2. Describe and explain the main evidence given by a believer to prove that there ...

    Some being; at the moment of death the person has a feeling of being outside the body and floating above it, there is heightened awareness and an absent of physical pain, there is a rapid movement down a tunnel, with a bright light at the end of it, at the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work