Burial Rituals to Die For


I went to a viewing last night. They really should warn you that there might be a dead person in the room when you walk in. It’s pretty awkward if you’re not expecting it.

I don’t really understand the rituals we have in America when loved ones die. I don’t understand people chatting it up around a person who is obviously not listening. It’s not a place for a narcissist to go for sure.

I can see it now, “you just don’t seem to be hearing what I’m saying. This is hard for me, I would think you would understand that.”

Body, ~silence~.

Narcissist, “You were always this way. I’ll bet you’re just loving this!” (Huffs off)

I decided to look into other cultures and how they deal with burying their loved ones, and much to my surprise, I found out that Americans are completely sane next to some of these crazies!

In India, the grieving widow lies down on a pile of sticks next to her husband, and then they’re both set on fire. This is not a good day for the children; or the wife, who apparently gets help from bystanders to make sure she burns completely. If she changes her minds, and says, “Hey, lets just chat it up around the body instead,” she is immediately shoved back on the bonfire by whatever means necessary. I’m pretty sure if my husband died in India, I would grab the nearest camel and make a break for it. Or taxi. A taxi would probably be better.

According to cracked.com the British put a stop to this practice around the early 1800’s, only to have to ban it again in 1956, and in 1981. This makes all kinds of sense. What person wouldn’t want to be burned alive for no reason what so ever?

I read further on the following website, which made me stop reading and regret heavily the 3 donuts I just ate while researching. My job is hard. People are insane and gross. If you haven't just eaten, and would like to see more regarding creepy death rituals, please click on the following link: http://www.cracked.com/article_16502_the-5-creepiest-death-rituals-from-around-world.html#ixzz13ksKSysO

Getting back to my research, now that my donuts have settled, I find that according to www.matadornetwork.com , the Vikings used to burn the guy who died, then pass the wife around for some consolation nookie and then strangle her when they felt consoled enough.

This must be why we don’t see many women Vikings in history, and the ones we do are complete bad-asses. She would have had to be to fight off all the grieving friends who need consoling if her husband died. Talk about a good reason not to get married!

I’m beginning to see a trend here.


Don't Be A Virgin Bride..

In China, (see: http://dying.lovetoknow.com/Sacrificial_Burial_China) if a guy in your village happens to die, and you happen to be a virgin, the best thing you can do is GET OUT! The families like to bury a virgin bride woman with their son (in the month of April) so he’s not lonely in the afterlife. What the virgin bride woman thinks of this is not known since no one asked her if she wanted to play Scrabble with some guy in the afterlife, they just kill her and then hold her in storage until April. If the death of the son is in May, she may be waiting for a while. Does anyone care if she’s lonely, if she even likes Scrabble, or if, maybe, just maybe, she wanted to date around first? No.

My advice to virgins in China is “don’t be a virgin in China.” Oh, and make sure no one thinks you are either. Slut it up real good .

I definitely see a trend here. It’s good to be a woman. When men die, everyone comes after you and wants you. They want you to be hot, and console them, and play Scrabble with them. How awesome is that? You just can’t beat it. Really. I’ve heard there are those who have tried.

I like the way my husband’s family does the whole “death” thing. They have a designated joke guy who shows up at each and every viewing/wake/funeral in the family. He gets people laughing so hard they blow Kool-Aid out their noses and forget they’re not at a comedy club. There is a lot of laughing and snorting and hooting. I’ve got to say, in all the years they’ve done this, the person who has passed on has never once complained.

No one is quite sure what they’re going to do when the designated joke guy passes on. I think they’ve recorded all the viewing/wake/funerals he’s been at. I’m fairly certain when his time comes they’ll just turn on the tape recorder and do a “best of” show.

I guess, all in all, our customs aren’t as strange as I might have thought. We don’t revere women as much as other cultures, for sure, but we do allow them to show up at the funerals, say their piece, and leave in one piece. It’s not as exciting as some other cultures, but it seems this is what we have for now, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to it.

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Comments 41 comments

ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 6 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California


Nearly lost it over "Slut it up"...


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Thanks, Chris.

I'm glad to know I wasn't laughing alone. Sometimes I wonder....

Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

Wasn't expecting this to be the lighter side of pyre time...funny hub, nice to see one of these occasionally. Welcome to the community.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Thank you Jason, it's a really great place to be.

MsDru2005 profile image

MsDru2005 6 years ago from Dayton, TX

Great article! I too just ate, so I skipped the links, but I will visit them later...thanks for the giggle...the comic relief was great! :)

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Thank you MsDru! I checked out your hubs as well. Very nice. Welcome to the community-glad you kept your food down. :)

Tammy L profile image

Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

I guess that's why so many Chinese women WANT to be mail order brides, huh? There is an obscure law in Texas which makes using profanity in front of a corpse illegal. No one enforces it though but it is still on the books.

Congratulations on your hubnuggets nomination!

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Tammy- I think you may be right about the mail order brides. Lord knows I'd want to go somewhere I wasn't going to get whacked!

Wow! I love obscure laws. Can you imagine someone enforcing that?

"Damn, it should be me, not Aunt Ethel".

(911-we have a cusser)

"Hands up, in the air where we can see them!"

Wow! Wouldn't that make for an interesting funeral!!

(I think you may have just given me an idea for an excellent hub! Thanks, I thought I might be out of ideas. I probably was. Thank you!)

Thank you, also, for stopping by and reading, and for your great comment! Also thank you for the congratulations... I was really surprised to find out I was nominated!!

Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hiya sueroy, OMG! this is so funny! I was truly entertained from beginning to end. I'm also happy I live in Canada, because I'm a widow and I could have been burned to death if I lived in India. I'm also so relieved I'm not a Viking or I would have been choked to death, but at least after having whoopeedos. I'd probably be comfortable in China, not being a virgin and all. Truly a wonderful read. Thumbs up girl! and awesome too!

Congratulations for having this hub nominated as a Hubnugget Nominee! I say it's a much deserved nomination. I wish you all the best.

My hub, although it's not about death at all, "The Day I Became Jennifer" is a nominee in the Gender and Relationships category. Please read my hub and if you like it, I'd appreciate your vote.


Thank you in advance,


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

Congratulations on your well-deserved HubNuggets nomination! This is so funny! But, being a woman, I'm not thrilled with some of the customs...

CathyandDaveAdopt profile image

CathyandDaveAdopt 6 years ago from The Med City

by Dave,

Cathy lost her mom in '97. She was cremated. My dad passed Mother's Day '00. He was cremated. Later that summer, Cathy's dad passed. I don't remember if he was cremated or buried. A couple, three years ago now, my grandmother passed away a couple months after her 100th birthday. She always said the it was the FIRST hundred years that was the hardest.

I do remember the lack of virgin sacrifice in each occasion....

And yet, each time, I felt like I was going to pull a Mary Richards, like on the Mary Tyler Moore show at the clown's funeral? Of course you laugh at a clown's funeral! Why not? My dad enjoyed a good laugh. So did my grandmother.

I like to remember my dad with a good, funny story...

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

The Chinese also have burial rituals that we follow up to this day. But I've often told my relatives that if I die, I would want a simple burial ritual. :)

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. To view the Hubnuggets, please come follow this link http://bit.ly/g2tFIN

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I lived in Tonga where they hire wailers to cry (very loudly) - some are very good actors/actresses and can turn it on or off at will. I never felt comfortable with all the phony wailing going on. It is so different from our custom of trying to "hold it all together". But at least, they really get it out of their system cause by the end, most of the people are wailing - probably out of sadness for their loss of hearing rather than their loss. Then they kill all the animals in the village and pass a chunk of meat out to all who come to the funeral. It is quite expensive to have someone die in your family there. The only good thing is that everyone has plenty to eat for a while.

Great hub. Congrats on the nomination.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Stephanie- I'm with you on that!

Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for the kind words!!!

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Dave- your grandmother sounds like a pistol! I'm glad there were no virgin sacrifices, or sacrifices of any other kind, now that you mention it!

Thanks for reading!!

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Ripplemaker- I'm with you, I want a simple burial ritual. Cremate me, vacuum me up and toss me out with the Tuesday morning trash. Bam! Done.

PS.I'm really excited about the nomination! Thank you so much!

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Elayne- LOL! I can see the job interview now, "I ~sob~ would like to apply ~sniff~ for the job of ~waaaahhhhhhhhh~ Wailer ~smile~."


"Please bring flowers, donations, and earplugs to the funeral."

I love hearing about customs around the world. It's completely fascinating! Now I know that not only would I not want to be a virgin in China, I also wouldn't bring my dog on vacation with me to Tonga. (oops, death in the village, round up the animals... ALL the animals.... come on Buster dinner time!!")

joleenruffin profile image

joleenruffin 6 years ago from Tracy, CA

Hilarious...you make death funny some how.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

The humor was a surprise when I thought I was going to read a very serious, perhaps gruesome hub. Nice job.

Congratulations on your Hubnugget nomination.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Joleen- this hub was actually a healing process. I really did go to a viewing, and it really was my first viewing ever, and there really was a body laying there, and it REALLY did freak me out.

I was having nightmares about it until I decided to make it funny.

There are a lot of scary things in life, when we can laugh about them they're not so scary.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for the compliment!

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Pamela- Thank you for the congratulations. It's an awesome feeling when you go to your e-mail and find you've been nominated for a hubnugget. It feels like Christmas! Hey, come to think of it.....

Thanks for taking the time to read my not-so-serious-but-still-somewhat-to-me-gruesome hub! Thank you also for taking the time to comment! I love comments... they're like little Christmas presents!

Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore


That Indian ritual is the ultimate sexist act..a woman's life is not worth living without her husband? That's quite an assumption.

I went to a viewing once.I didn't want to go but the widow insisted everyone go and look at the corpse...even though NO-ONE wanted too... perhaps she thought because she'd paid for the deathly makeover...she should get her money's worth.

What made it even more bizarre was that the husband was dressed in his freemasons outfit, which was a kind of gruesome formal dinner suit with decorations. It made him look like a vampire! I remember in particular, the hands, which seemed huge and waxy...(shudder). I've never quite got the image out of my head.


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Jane-ew, I get shudders thinking about it. You may be right about the make-over though.... also shudder-worthy!

That is exactly why I wrote this, to get the picture out of my head, or at least to try and make it not so scary.

I noticed as I researched all these rituals that women were pretty much treated like property. The vikings one was the most horrendous. I really am thankful to live in America!

Thank you for taking the time to read my stuff, and for commenting. It means a LOT!

Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Sue, it's always a pleasure..;) I love your stuff.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Jane- Wow! Thank you! Merry Christmas to me! :)

megmccormick profile image

megmccormick 6 years ago from Utah

Sue very funny...loved the image of the Chinese girls hurrying to "slut it up" just in case! LOL. Yeah, what is it with all these death rituals where when a guy dies, some very alive woman has to accompany the guy to the here-after? Men are such babies, they can't do anything on their own! :)

Congrats on your nomination and keep up the good work.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Meg- "Men are such babies" I think that should be on billboards in China! I love it!

Thank you for stopping by to read my twisted hub, and thank you also for taking the time to comment. You made me laugh!!

bettybarnesb profile image

bettybarnesb 6 years ago from Bartlett, TN

You are truly gifted at taking something so serious and final and causing it to be viewed as just part of life. Because that is what death is. Enjoyed it.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

betty- I really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment! I agree that death is a part of life. How ironic.

Thank you for the amazing compliment, I'll carry it with me for times when I'm feeling down!! Thank you so much!!

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Well that explains the slit in the Asian dresses! It's so they can slut it up! hahahaha. I laughed so hard the tears cleared the pollen out of my red, itchy eyes and I can SEE again! yay!

The part about cussing at funerals in Texas was new to me and I'm a Native Texan! Hell, I'll have to go the gravesite tonight and shout out some cusswords just to make up for lost time.

You are now on my "follow" list :-)

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Austin- I'm going to have a great time picturing you down at the graveyard cussin' away to strangers while people wander by. Awesome!

Thanks for coming by. Love your comments, I always wondered about the slits... you're too funny!

Thank you so much for the follow!

Epic Traveller profile image

Epic Traveller 6 years ago from Cape Town

Very interesting but OMG, so sick. I'm glad I'm a male... I like the light hearted funerals I want mine to be like that some day. Thanks for the hub

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Epic- it IS sick. It was so sick it made our rituals seem sane!

Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I really, really love comments!

Borsia profile image

Borsia 6 years ago from Currently, Philippines

Fortunately China is evolving. I lived in Chine for 2 years and we didn't bury a single virgin.

In my youth I worked in a cemetery and attended over 1000 funerals from a graveside prospective. Of course it is totally different when you are watching from the outside, seeing how all of the different religions, races and even cults deal with death.

It takes a certain sense of humor that not all that many have. Needless to say I have stories funny, bizarre and far too gross.

I will tell you that those who don't do viewings, who choose to simply remember their loved ones as they were in life are able to deal with it the best.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Borsia- It sounds like you have had a very interesting life. I'm glad to see hear that no virgins were buried during your time in China!

I agree with you on the no viewing things, that's why I quite deftly avoided them for 43 years! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one to feel that way!

Thank you for stopping by, reading, and taking the time to comment! I would love to hear the funny and bizarre stories sometime, but maybe not the gross. :O)

Leann Zarah profile image

Leann Zarah 6 years ago

Hi again, Sueroy.

Hope you don't mind my stopping by here. :) This is a funny and interesting hub (I'm the 15th voter.)

Can I still vote for the hubnugget thing? Hope I'm not yet late, but if that's the case, I'm certain that won't be the last time you'll get nominated. I'll vote on time the next round. :)


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author


Hi! I'm not sure what you mean by the 15th voter. I need to check and see if you won your nomination! You do a really nice job!

My hubnugget deal is done and gone. I came in second. I was pretty happy with that!

Thank you for your interest, and your kind words! I think you're really going to enjoy yourself on this site. I haven't been here very long, but people around here are great for making a person feel at home. The encouragement is to die for!! :O)

Thanks again, Leann!!

QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 6 years ago

When I die, I am glad I would not have to worry about disposing my body...

Thank God, I am not part of the weird cultures you mentioned. I think if I were that I would fear the after dead more than death itself, lol.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Qudsia- I would fear the death of a husband a LOT. I think most of these rituals are outdated (I'm pretty sure, and I hope so), especially the Viking's ritual. I don't believe the vikings are around any more. I think I know why....

Borsia profile image

Borsia 6 years ago from Currently, Philippines

Sueroy; Most funny cemetery stories would be considered gross by most people but here is a quickie.

I was working in a rose bed just outside the crematorium which was running. A couple in their 50s walked by.

Husband "Yum someone is having a barbecue."

Wife "It does smell wonderful,,, steak I think."

Husband "I'm getting hungry,,, lets do lunch!"

Wife "I wish we could have what they are having."

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana Author

Borsia- Not often do you hear a case where cremation caused hunger. lmbo! Too funny!

"I wish we could have what they are having"... classic!

Thank you for stopping by and sharing one of your "gross" stories! I'm so glad you did! Your time working at the cemetery must have been a hoot!

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