Thai Funeral

This evening we were walking through our neighborhood on the way to meet our friends for dinner, when we passed something we had never seen before. Part of the road was blocked off and a tent had been set up on the side of the narrow street with tables and many chairs. On the other side of the road was a beautifully decorated, mostly in pink and with lots of flowers, mini temple. Below is a picture we found on the internet that resembled what we saw (minus the monks):

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In awe at its beauty, we stopped a moment to admire it. A woman approached us and speaking in English, explained that this was set up for a funeral and her father’s body was inside. She went on to explain that he would be cremated the next day and sent to heaven. She then invited us to pay our respects to him, by having us take off our shoes and guiding us onto a bamboo mat at one of the ends of the casket. We were given incense and shown that we should wai (put our hands in front of our face like we were praying) and bow our heads. We were assured that this would help him go to heaven. Our still-lit incense was placed in a silver bowl with sand in it with other sticks of incense. At the end, the woman said to us, “Now you have experienced a Lanna funeral”. (Lanna is what the northern Thais call themselves.) She then  invited us to sit and eat sticky rice with them but we were already late for dinner with our friends so we had to decline. We hope he gets to heaven.
Lots of love,
Mindy and Ligeia :):)

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