Wednesday, August 10, 2011


{From the Otago Daily Times October 3.) A Chinese funeral is not an every-day occurrence here. The Ciiinaman who died suddenly on Wednesday, was buried on Thursday iv the Southern General Cemetery, Danedin. Previous to the funeral proceBBion moving, an express was Bent .Tom the residence of the deceased to the cemetery. The express contained a Chinaman, who was in charge of a stock of eatables and drinkables. Another Celestial strewed pieces oi flimsy paper, which were punctured (stencil plate fashion) with Chinese characters, on tbe road to the cemetery. On the funeral reaching the cemetery, those who attended (they came in five cabs) walked to the grave. After they had drawn up near tbe grave, the coifin was brought from the hearse by cemetery officials and cabmen, preceded by a Chinaman bearing a board, on which were written the name and virtues of tbe deceased, and which afterwards eerved as a headstone. On the coffin being lowered and the grave filled up the ceremonies commenced The basket of victuals was brought from the house in the cemetery. The basket contained a boiled fowl, three or four pounds of boiled pork, three bowls of cooked rice, a teapot containing tea, oranges, a paper of lollies, and other luxuries; also, a bottle of grog and cigars. These things were spread out on a cloth near the foot of the grave. A fire was lighted and a quantity of fa ncy paper was burned. This, we believe, represents money to aid the deceased in his pecuniary affairs beyond the grave. A Chinaman, having clasped hie hands, faced the grave, and made several bows, and thereupon gave utterance to some words—apparently a form of prayer in Chinese. Then the rice was emptied out ot the three bowla on the foot of the grave ; tea was poured out of the teapot into several little cups, which were emptied ; and grog was poured into them and emptied likewise. Then cigars were handed round and smoked, grog was offered, hut none would accept of it save a European who took the bottle full, the oranges and lollies were distributed among the little boys present, and the fowl and pork were given to tha man who dug the gravß. Tbe ceremony over, a Chinaman stood at the cemetery gate and distributed silver to those going out, and tbe funeral party then returned home. Colonist, Volume XVI, Issue 1825, 20 October 1874, Page 4

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