Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leo Africanus 2

The second part of this book starts of with the death of Hasan's grandmother and her subsequent funeral. What I found to be most interesting ab0ut this section was how her death was represented. Someone in the crowd mentioned that we should not be upset with death, that death is a gift from God and should be celebrated. This person also said that without death other emotions like joy would have absolutely no meaning. After this speech the book talks about condolence parties. The condolence ceremonies would last for another six days with people coming at sunrise and not leaving until nightfall. While a few people would still be in heavy mourning, after a few days most might be at a place where they could smile or even laugh without being judged.Fourrty days after the death the condolence parties reappeared for three days. Also mourners were hired as a way for other people not to feel bad about not crying or being upset. The hired mourners were used as a way to make sure the deceased was respected while others celebrated the life of the person. I personally find these feelings about death to be a little harsh. Growing up where most of us have death is not thought of as a gift from God; most people see it as a punishment. Maybe people in other cultures have easier times mourning and letting people go because of their different mindset. Having six days of condolence parties is something absolutely unheard of in most parts of this country, especially about the guests having fun. I feel like most people would the easy enjoyment after so recent a death to be disrespectful, but maybe to some people it is how they move on. Maybe instead of mourning death we should celebrate life.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. My grandfather wrote in his will that we had to play the song "Dust in the Wind", followed by the song "Sunscreen", followed by "Saturday Night Fever", and then "My Gift Is My Song" during his funeral at least once. He loved irony. He also loved to hear my grandmother sing. He viewed music as a celebration of life. Therefore he wanted music at his funeral. He also created a slide show of hilarious photos. He wasn't trying to be morbid, but he suffered from cancer for years. He was just a proactive kind of guy. The last slide has a quote that said "Remember me and laugh".