Traditions of funerals are different all around the world. We bury dead people, in Tibet, they give them to vultures, in India they mostly burn them, sometimes they bury, and sometimes they just let them into the Ganges. By the way, mummified are always the rich and famous ones. In Tibet only high lamas and in Egypt pharaohs.
Everywhere in different ways, but what is so shocking in the ritual of burning bodies in India and Nepal? Well, of course, being not used to it. It is customary for us to do everything as quietly and as civilized as possible.
Burning is done by experts and after, we get ash in the pot. There are no guarantees that this is the right ash, but our nervous system is at peace. However, in India and Nepal, there are also electric crematoria, where the bodies of the poor are burned. Those who have a wealthy family, are burned in the old tradition. The shock of our people is only from the unusualness to the fact that the body is burned in insight.
In India, it is believed that if you follow the traditions of your ancestors, this is the best way to be born again in a good family.
We often met with cremation rituals. Usually, cremations are made in large Hindu temples. In the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, the biggest bonfires glow in the Pashupatinath Temple – this is the largest and glorious temple complex in the whole of Nepal. This temple is a paradise for monkeys. All the wandering sadhu gather there. They are followers of Shiva culture who live exclusively on alms.
This temple, among hundreds of sadhu, is the second-largest, after Varanasi, cremation ground that was created. We somehow not intendedly visited these factories for the utilization of perishable bodies. It ridiculously happened so. We walked with the kids around the city and saw on the hill something like an area for Sunday (in case of Nepal – Saturday) rest of the local public. We went up the stairs, played with monkeys, went further and suddenly we smelt fried meat. We got hungry. And as it turned out, this was the smell the wind blew from the fires of the crematorium. We made a video, and then laughed and joked, whether it’s worth writing about such naughty nuances.
Below is the video, you will see the Ganga embankment, where the biggest bonfires are blazing. The fires are always burned next to an electric crematorium, where those who can not spend several thousand dollars on the burning ritual fire are burned. And since the most spectacular shots can be received only in the evening, we did not manage to shoot a lot in Varanasi. In Kathmandu, there was a very beautiful panorama of the fireplace. But the most effective was cremation in a Buddhist temple in Pokhara, a resort town in Nepal. There are only two minutes of the movie, but the process where the body is burnt is very clearly seen, and relatives are having a fun conversation just next to it. They gave the llamas money and treated all presents with gifts which we also received.
Also, we accidentally managed to make a video of the Indian ceremony of farewell to the dead. By the way, this video is very popular in our video collection.
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Funeral in Nepal – Burying body
Funeral in India – Goodbyes with father, grandfather, brother and boss in the village
Pashuatinath Temle – Hindu Temple in Kathmandu
Walk on the shore of the crematorium – Varanashi
Evening walk 2 – Varanashi