Date
24 May 2017
Death and funerals are considered taboo subjects in traditional Chinese culture. As a result, many people avoid such discussions, especially younger ones, according to a survey. Photo: HKEJ
Death and funerals are considered taboo subjects in traditional Chinese culture. As a result, many people avoid such discussions, especially younger ones, according to a survey. Photo: HKEJ

Funeral planning still taboo for young Hongkongers

Nearly six in 10 Hong Kong people aged 60 and above have not made plans for their funeral.

However, eight in 10 say it’s important to have control over their funeral planning, according to a survey cited by Apple Daily.

The survey by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong (ELCHK) interviewed 1,047 people from March to September.

It found that 20 percent of the respondents have discussed funeral plans but have done nothing about them.

Of the 40 percent who have made plans, less than half have a preferred funeral method or location.

An even lower proportion has not considered estate planning including writing wills.

Sin Fung-yee, who overseas ELCHK’s Life and Death Education project, said lack of funeral arrangements could lead to family disputes.

In an extreme case, family members held three different funerals for a deceased relative because they have different religious practices and preferences.

Also, the survey found that death is no longer taboo for a quarter of senior respondents.

They have even come up with creative lines for their eulogies such as “you’re up next” and “see you soon”.

Others say they will ask family members to cut out crying at their funeral.

Still, Chinese culture considers discussions about death and funerals inauspicious.

As a result, many old people are reluctant to bring up the topic, Sin said.

In some instances, younger people are more touchy about the subject than their elders.

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EL/AC/RA

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