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Chinese religion and strict cultural beliefs are inseparable from the death rites performed Many different names for death are scattered throughout Chinese history including an ideogram that depicts a person kneeling in front of their ancestors bones 1 In Chinese culture death rites are intricate and well thought out works on preparing one for the afterlife and rebirth Chinese funeral rites have strict guidelines as to where the rites are to be performed how the rites are performed ritual bathing of the corpse the dress of the attendees and the dead the transfer of material goods on Earth to the dead acknowledgement of the deceased and the actual burial of the body All these sacred rites are performed by specialists usually priests or otherwise who are paid by the deceaseds family members Death rituals carry on long after the burial of the body in terms of grieving for the dead These rites include returning to the burial site on specific dates to mourn perform yuan-fen a symbolic act in which the burial site is rounded off with dirt to give it a nice and proper shape and burning of incense and earthly offerings 2 Attitudes and beliefs on death and the afterlife are quite the same among the Chinese people of the late Imperial Chinese culture and the Chinese culture of today The continuing traditions of the ritualistic burials sheds light on one way a society can be linked culturally 1TC Lai To The Yellow Springs The Chinese View of Death 17 Hong Kong Joint Publbishing Co and Kelly Walsh 1983 2Watson James L and Evelyn L Rawski Death Ritual in Late Imperial and Modern China 12-15 Berklely University of California Press 1988 Different cultures harbor different views on death and dying and it is important to understand the significance of these contrasting elements of other cultures and our own The Chinese cultures do not see death as something shy away from
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