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.