We fully understand its culture, but what about when it places a heavy burden on the bereaved family? What are your thoughts?
When a person dies in a poor family in West Africa, relatives no longer cry because they miss the dead; they cry because of the huge burial cost. Sometimes, they borrow or sell plots of land to just to afford a burial, in other to save the name of the family.
In places like Kisii, Kenya, they bury the dead within a week. Everyone wears black or somber color. They have a vigil, then service and burial. Their tradition does not allow a fire to burn in a home where there is mourning. Friends bring food.
It is custom for friends and family to contribute to burial. They usually serve water at the funeral, maybe soda(mineral), not food as one does not want to further burden the bereaved. Music is only gospel choirs. A widow is to wear black and turn her clothes inside out.
However, in West Africa, you are in for the biggest culture shock, especially in Nigeria. The festive vibe at funerals can be bigger than a wedding. The colorful Aso Ebi, the food, bands, etc. but most of all, it was the length of time between death and burial.
Burials in West Africa can be a daunting experience, especially for those living below the poverty belt. It’s in West Africa that you will see a wretched man buried in pomp and loudness while impoverishing the family the more. The cost of burials can be heart-bleeding. People believe that a low budget burial can bring ridicule to the bereaved family.
The question that baffles people is, ‘why wasn’t this money spend on the person while living? Many people are recognized more in death than when they are alive in West Africa.
Well, there’s nothing wrong with expensive burials, there’s nothing wrong with the festive vibes, at least we get to celebrate the person we love for the one last time. But, if you have to break your neck to score cheap points all in the name of burial. That’s the problem.