One day of being a monk

When somebody dies in my country, it is traditional for male relatives of the deceased to shave their heads and transform into a monk to show a mark of respect and gratitude to the person who has passed away. It is a Buddhist tradition but it is not obligatory either. I did it nevertheless.

Before the day of my nan’s cremation, my brother (the man), I and the other male relatives had to go to the barber’s in order to get rid of our hair and prepare our minds for the funeral the next day. All of us felt a little bit weird as we had never faced this sort of situation before – losing the one you love and also losing the love of your hair.

We did something a bit in the morning of the funeral day but I can only vaguely remember. The first thing we had to do was to go to meet the senior monks and say prayers. After we finished praying, we changed our dress to the style of a Buddhist monk.

In the afternoon, we had to lead the procession of the funeral while the deceased was taken to the crematorium before she was cremated. We also were the first people to see my nan’s body and pour fragrant water over her (I don’t remember the reason for doing this) and say goodbye.

When the funeral was finished, it was time for us to resign from being monks, go back to our normal lives and wait for the day when we will become monks again – the day of losing our beloved again.


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