Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wake crashers

I am posting Grey Friar's church as it is very old, and would have conducted many funerals.

The New Zealand herald news made national TV in New Zealand. I LOL because I know this happens in Borneo and in Singapore.

In Sibu, because of the big wedding, birthday and wake dinners, people just turn up and eat, and later, the hosts ask each other, is he your friend?

Ah Uncle who works at a big restaurant says it happens all the time. But because weddings and birthdays are auspicious and funerals somber, they don't want to create a scene.

In Singapore, it is vice versa. As families get smaller and smaller, fewer and fewer people come to the funeral which are held in the open void deck. The grieving family don't mind these professional "grievers" who come to stay and play TON SIEW mahjong. (24 hours mahjong). The idea is some one has to be present with the deceased at all the times. If these gate crashers are around to accompany the decease, there will be less visitors from the nether world to come to disrupt the last journey of the deceased. The whole funeral process involves many days, and culminates in a big feast in the restaurant after the burial.

I told this to my siblings and my sis replied. "When our neighbours, the old man and old woman passed away, the relatives hired people each time while waiting for their only son and daughter-in-law to come back from USA. For a whole week, as they needed more than a week to reach home."

I LOL again, because the New Zealand wake food are basically finger food, a few sausage rolls, sandwiches and cheap cakes. Whereas the wake food in Singapore and Borneo is lavish. There are people who are professional wake cooks, and some also arrange for the professional mourners to come.

Here's today's news:

Funeral feast freeloaders are on the prowl in Whangarei with one funeral home director unwilling to out the three professional mourners for fear of an altercation.

The revelation comes after a Wellington funeral home stopped a fake mourner who was gatecrashing funerals, eating the food on offer and taking more home in containers.

Freda Squire, of Newberrys Funeral Home, said she knew of three imposters who had been regularly attending funerals in Whangarei for at least five years.

The fake grievers, a couple aged between 50 and 60 who wear dirty clothes and a woman between 60 and 70, pretend to know the deceased, give a faux eulogy, load their plates up and leave.


Anonymous said...

My goodness this happens everywhere.
Here in Australia too.

Anonymous said...

I like your blog,... nice post keep blogging...

Unknown said...

Yes, it was funny to see this happening in New Zealand as well as in other countries.

NZ funerals have cheap cakes and sausage rolls??

Not the funerals I have been to in NZ

Barry said...

I wouldn't be surprised if it happens here too. Just hasn't made the papers yet.

Anonymous said...

The news paper reports:

Ms Squire said she had become familiar with the imposters as they would phone beforehand and ask about the funeral for "Mr X," and whether or not a cup of tea would be available.

If no refreshments were on offer, the professional mourners would not show.

May be the funeral directors have wake food ranging from expensive to cheap to no food. In many cases, friends and relatives bring a plate.

In some countries, the mourners are treated to a sit down meal in a restaurant.

This can be why the pfrofessional mourners turn up at wakes.

Ensurai said...

As I now attend funerals more often I can recognise who are the fake mourners...and the wake lunches are always full in Sibu....pity..but then again no one wants to upset any one...the trend will go on...but luckily no one brings containers yet because these are all sit down lunches...

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

In the Chinese culture, the family of a very rich dead person donate a lot of money to schools. The schools send students to the funeral processions. The students are given a cloth handkerchief. If the family was more generous, the students got $1.

I was a teacher in a neighbouring town. The funeral was in another town. A big boat was rented. I chaperoned the students and we were treated to a restaurant lunch.

In such big wakes, it is not surprising
to get free loaders. Besides, it is believed that the rich man was very lucky. Everyone wants a bit of that luck.

No one wants a scene on such occasions.