Asian tradition for funeral gifts

Written by kristens
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Asian tradition for funeral gifts
Funeral traditions in Asia are largely dependent on the religion of the deceased. (Buddhist art image by jorisvo from Fotolia.com)

Asian funeral traditions vary widely from country to country and region to region and are often dictated by the religion of the deceased. An appropriate gift—flowers, food, money—at a western funeral might not be appropriate at the funeral of someone who practised a traditionally Eastern faith. If there is any question about what is appropriate, discreetly ask a family member or friend for advice.

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Buddhist Funeral

Sending food to a mourning Buddhist family is inappropriate, but flowers or a donation instead of flowers is appropriate, according to "Funeral Etiquette for Southeast Asian Religions" at "AssociatedContent.com." It is also inappropriate for a non-Buddhist to have contact with the mourning family before the funeral but it is fine to visit the family's home after the service, the article states.

Hindu Funeral

An appropriate gift for a Hindu ceremony would be flowers, which would be placed at the feet of the deceased during the funeral ceremony, according to "Funeral Etiquette for Southeast Asian Religions" at "AssociatedContent.com." An article on the website "BeliefNet.com" advises avoiding brightly coloured flowers.

Muslim Funeral

Visiting a grieving Muslim family and offering your sympathies may be the best gift. Islam emphasises moderation and simplicity, according to an article from the website "A-to-Z-of-Manners-and-Etiquette.com." Food, flowers and candy are not appropriate gifts.

Sikh Funeral

Gifts of food, flowers or money are appropriate for a Sikh funeral but they are not required according to "Funeral Etiquette for Southeast Asian Religions" on "AssociatedContent.com." Sikhs do not eat kosher or halal meats, nor do they consume alcohol.

Christian Funeral

Christianity is a major religion in some Asian countries, including South Korea and Vietnam. Gifts of flowers, sent to the deceased's family or to the church, are appropriate. It is also OK to bring food to the family's home. Charitable donations, either to the deceased's favourite cause or to his church, are also acceptable gifts.

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