Reinforce Cultural Identity

“In migration, death revitalizes a threat against a group maintenance that people constantly experience. It is therefore likely that a social group in exile will use funerary rituals in order to reinforce ethnic or cultural identity.”

Reimers, E 1999, Death and identity: Graves and funerals as cultural communication, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p149, Sweden, sited on 7th September 2011.


Sverige ett av världens minst religiösa länder



Death, funeral and mourning

There are certain rulles regarding the year of grief for every man who is Bar Mitsvah (13 years or older) och every woman who is Bat Mitsvah (12 year or older)  and is being applied when your mother, father, husband, wife, sister, brother son or daughter has died. not if the child is younger than 30 days.


As a sign of grief you make a tear in the clothes the mourners wear. If the mourner is a child to the deceased, you make the tear at the left side, while the rest of the mourners make the tear at the right side. this is not done not if the child is younger than 30 days.


Before the funeral the mourner is called for a onion. He or she is then freed from a lott of religions commandments. It is tradition hat you match over the dead.

The funeral should be held as son as possible but not during the sabbath or holidays. The funeral service is being held by the rabbi or the cantor.

normally you don’t have flowers on a jewish funeral.

when the casket is being lowered into the earth, the mourners walk up to the grave and put three buckets of sand or soil at the coffin (together with possible flowers).

it’s very unusual that a jet is being cremated.

immediately arter the burial, the Shiva-week starts. Which means the deepest level of grief. No work are allowed. three services a day are being held in the home of the deseased. the mirrors are being covered with sheets. the mourners sits on the floor or on low stools. they are not wearing shoes, as a sign of their grief.
You let the mourner be the one starting a conversation, if she/he has the need for talking.

You keep a candle lit all day.

on the friday service at the synagog the mourners are waiting in the entrance while the assembly sings the hymn l’cha dodi.They are then picked up by the rabbi or the cantor who give them comfort with the words Hamakóm j’nachém etchém b’toch sh’ar aveléj Tsion viJrushalájim – “Den Evige tröste eder bland alla dem som sörja över Sion och Jerusalem”.

A jewish holiday interrups the shiva-week.

you are not supposed to visit the day until at least 30 days after the funeral.


During eleven months after the death the mourners will pray the kaddish-prayer at every service. After that kaddish is being read at every anniversary after the day of death.


Jahrzeit (anniversary (year after the death).

Starting the night before you light a 24-hour candle or a specific lamp. The kaddish is being read at the service.


Judaism – Funeral

Death and funeral – statement 

We are all alike in front of death. That is why all jews are buried in a simple coffin of same kind. the deceased is being washed and wrapped in a white shroud by the members in the Chevra Kadisha, which  is a loosely structured but generally closed organization of jewish men and women who see to it that the bodies of Jews are prepared for burial according to Halacha (Jewish law) and are protected from desecration, willful or not, until burial.  Two of the main requirements are the showing of proper respect for a corpse, and the ritual cleansing of the body and subsequent dressing for burial.

The task of the chevra kadisha is considered a laudable one, as tending to the dead is a favour that the recipient cannot return, making it devoid of ulterior motives. Its work is therefore referred to as a chesed shel emet (a good deed of truth), paraphrased from Genesis 47:29  (where Jacob asks his son Joseph, “do me a ‘true’ favor” and Joseph promises his father to bury him in the Land of Isreal.

The ritual of Tahara, or purification. The body is first thoroughly cleansed of dirt, body fluids and solids, and anything else that may be on the skin, and then it is ritually purified by immersion in, or a continuous flow of, water from the head over the entire body. Tahara may refer to either the entire process, or to the ritual purification. Once the body is purified, the body is dressed in Tachrichim, or shrouds, of white pure cotton garments made up of ten pieces for a male and twelve for a female, which are identical for each Jew and which symbolically recalls the garments worn by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest). Once the body is dressed, the casket is sealed. When being buried in Israel, however, a casket is not used.

The society may also provide shomrim, or watchers, to guard the body from theft, rodents, or desecration until burial. In some communities this is done by people close to the departed or by paid shomrim hired by the funeral home. At one time, the danger of theft of the body was very real, yet in modern times it has become a way of honoring the deceased.

Meit mitzvah (a mitzvah corpse),  is tending to the dead who have no immediate next-of-kin. as tending to a meit mitzvah overrides virtually any other positive commandment (mitzvot aseh) of Torah law.


Suecide and Judaism

Judaism considers suicide to be a form of “self-murder” and thus a Jew who commits suicide is denied some important after-death privileges: no eulogies should be held for that person, and burial in the main section of the Jewish cemetery is normally not allowed.

However, in recent times, most people who die by suicide have been deemed to be the unfortunate victims of depression or of a serious mental illness. Under this interpretation, their act of “self-murder” is not deemed to be a voluntary act of self-destruction, but rather the result of an involuntary condition. They have therefore been looked upon as having died of causes beyond their control.


Videos of the jewish tradition, Tahara – washing the body



Interview of Stefan Larsson – Buddhist in Gothenburgh. He is neither a lama nor a monk but a dedicated layman in a Tibetan Buddhist compound. His function in the compound is as a speaker and in some ways a teacher.

He has nit been to a Buddhist burial, but knows a bit about it.


What happens when you die?

What happens with the soul/mind  and body when you die?

What rituals/ rites and  traditions are used when you die?

What rituals/ rites and  traditions are used when you are buried?

Shuld you be buried at a special place or in a special manner?

Does different death causes give different burials?

Symbols of death? + meanings?

Who takes care of the burial?

Anything you think is specially interesting?

Burial/ cremation or something else?

How does a typical burial look like?


Surrounding the grave?

Birds who eat the body?

What is left to the family?


–       Suicide is not good for your karma because you don’t only hurt your self , but also other feeling persons. The people around you, friends and family. So it effects your ability to choose your next life and to be enlightened.

Whats your view of death and what happens when you die?

–       Every feeling thing has a conscious, the body is the container which you use in your life.

–       Life is a preparation for Bard, the state between death and the next reincarnation. In Bardo you choose to reincarnate, to seas to exist or if you are enlightened, move to Theravada ( tex Thailand and Burma ) or Mahayana (Tex. Japan, Tibet Mongolia). Though you don’t do this in Tibetan Buddhism before all feeling things are enlightened, when they are you all move to Teravada togeather. Therefore your mission as an enlightened is to help other to get enlightened. This is done by teaching and so on.

–       In Bardo can last for 49 days and the first three days are crucial, your body should not be moved at all and if possible be positioned in a white clean and calm room, laying down on his right side. The area around his top of the head, during this time.  There should be no painkillers or medicine before death because you shouldn’t affect your consciousness, this is the same reason as for the white calm room and not to move the body. It should be peaceful. You can ask for a monk, nun or a lama for ”Pawa” during your dying time, this is a special ritual to reed mantra for the deceased and helps the mind to find peace in the dying and at Burda.

–       If a lama is dying all of the lamas who can, come to the dying and do special rites and rituals. We don’t really know what they do but its connected with finding out where his next life will be. He leaves hints of this in some way, the reason to why you want to find out where he will be reborn is to get there to be thought by him.

–       The burial docent matter, where you want sort of. You usually choose cremation but it is not necessary in sweden, Promession sound really good because it helps life and through this  helps your karma. But it is usually in connection with the compound, mantras are usually read during the burial. The soil composition (jordsättning) is important concerning the ashes but the gravestone is not so important.

–       If you can yous should leave behind things which generates karma in a long prospective for example teachings.

–       In stockholm they have a Buddhist burial site which is a part of StrandKyrkogården (hard translation: beach cemetqary).

Grave place / grave stone?

–       -What evert you want, docent really matter.

Can you have personalized funerals?

–       If it bothers the Bardo time, its not good so no. Or it docent matter!

Who takes care of the burial?

–       The compound does.

Is there any specially interesting symbols concerning death or funeral?

–       Google it!


Islam –

Ablution (Ghusl) for the corpse

After getting rid of the impure (najis) elements that are on the body of the dead person (e.g., blood, semen, etc.), the corpse has to be given three ablutions as follows:

1. First wash it with sidr water. That is, water to which a little of sidr has been added.

2. The second wash is with camphour water. That is, water to which a little bit of camphour has been added.

3. The third wash is with pure water.

It is necessary that the ablution given to the corpse be of the tartibi kind: that is, the body should be washed in proper sequence with the head and the neck first, then the right side of the body, and then the left side.

The person washing the corpse must be of the same gender as the dead person. So, a male should wash a male corpse, and a female should wash a female corpse. However, husband and wife are allowed to perform ablution to one another; although it is better that the washing be done with the body covered with a sheet of cloth.
If a person of the same gender is not available, then, based on obligatory precaution, those of the opposite gender who are mahram to the deceased can perform it. Mahram means those relations with whom marriage is forbidden because of blood relationship or nursing (suckling) relationship or marriage, like brother and sister [or son-in-law and mother-in-law]. However, it is better that the washing be done with the body covered with a sheet of cloth. Unity of gender is not required when giving ablution to a corpse of a child that had not reached the age of discerning the right and wrong.

Based on obligatory precaution, the person performing ablution must be a believer (mu’min). If neither a mu’min of the same gender as the deceased is available nor a mahram [even of the opposite gender], it is permissible that a Muslim of the same gender can wash the deceased.
If even a Muslim is not available, then the deceased can be washed by an Ahlul Kitãb person [that is, a Jew, a Christian or a Zoroastrian] of the same gender with the condition that the person should first wash himself and then perform ablution to the corpse. If even an Ahlul Kitab person of the same gender is not available, the duty of performing ablution to the corpse is lifted, and the deceased should be buried without it.



Most swedish sami people bury their departed in a christian protestantic tradition.



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