For those who are left behind, a funeral provides a place for family and friends to gather for support and to reminisce, an opportunity to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a loved one, a chance to say goodbye, and the focal point from which the healing process can begin. The funeral identifies that a person’s life has been lived, not that a death has occurred. It is also important to notify the community that this person is no more.
There are thousands of different culture and communities in India, and they practice different customs and rituals for a funeral.
This episode is a documentation of the meitei-meetei (or meitei-hindu) funeral rites and ceremonies. We have Mr. Oinam Khelchandra Singh, Arangbham Purel, from Sagolband Sayang Leikai helping us out in this episode as we try and cover all the customs and their significances.
Mr. Khelchandra Singh learnt everything about the rituals from the elders and performers and has been practicing for 30 years now.
We talk about the rituals to be followed when a person passes away, about lamboiba, and he describes the traditional customs step by step in detail. We discuss why clothes are burnt after a funeral, the purpose of lighting a candle or a small lamp at the place of cremation and other such topics. He also tells us the purpose of various rituals and about the symbolic meaning of the attire people wear during the 14 day period of the ceremony.