Saturday, January 29, 2011

Funeral Procession

This month has been a difficult one for Gramothe. There have been at least 3 deaths, if not four. (I’m still a little certain if the uncle Micka told me about is the husband of the woman I was talking to later.) All of the people who have passed away were older and had health complications that come from old age. (None of them had cholera, just for the record. We haven’t had any cases of cholera in Gramothe.) The most recent funeral was on Tuesday, and I happened to be going to class when the funeral procession passed by the high school on their way to the cemetery.

This is the Gramothe cemetery.
I know this isn’t going to sound right, but it was really neat to experience the funeral procession. Before I could even see the procession, I could hear them singing a song. It was very loud and caught my attention. I saw some boys carrying the wreaths and flowers down from the village, so I stepped off to the side where some of my high school students were sitting. As the procession got closer I could see that some men were carrying the casket with the family and friends following behind. The song they were singing was very beautiful; I wish I knew it. As the procession got closer, I realized they were going to walk right past where I was standing. I felt bad that there were so many students gawking as the mourners made their way to the cemetery, but the students were very respectful. As bad as it sounds, it was an incredible experience to stand in the midst of the people as they sang their mourning song. There weren’t more than 35 or 40 people, but their voices were so loud and beautiful. I was a little mesmerized by the whole thing.

After the procession passed by, I slowly made my way to my classroom where I could see the people walking single file down the trail to the cemetery. They were still singing. I’m not certain what they did when they got there, other than put the casket in the tomb. They were not there very long. I had to prepare for my class, though, so I did not get to watch what happened.

No comments:

Post a Comment