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  #1  
Old 03-31-2009, 12:36 PM
eyefish eyefish is offline
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Default Lao Wakes/Funeral

What are some of the taboos/customs you know about Lao wakes/funeral.

The ones that stands out for me are:

1. At "heuan dee", you dont take food or anything from there.
2. You can't make noodle dishes until after the cremation on day of funeral.
3. You must wash your hands with the blessed water before leaving the funeral home or entering the house.
4. Women, if on their menstrual cycle cannot "bouat" as "mae kao".
5. People can't cook and take food over to "heuan dee".

I know that some Lao folks don't follow #1 and #5, depending on where they're from but I think majority do follow it. Any other? Share your knowledge
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyefish View Post
What are some of the taboos/customs you know about Lao wakes/funeral.

The ones that stands out for me are:

1. At "heuan dee", you dont take food or anything from there.
2. You can't make noodle dishes until after the cremation on day of funeral.
3. You must wash your hands with the blessed water before leaving the funeral home or entering the house.
4. Women, if on their menstrual cycle cannot "bouat" as "mae kao".
5. People can't cook and take food over to "heuan dee".

I know that some Lao folks don't follow #1 and #5, depending on where they're from but I think majority do follow it. Any other? Share your knowledge

Good topic.
I like to get explaination on why things can't be done .

#5. People does cook and bring it over in US since it's easier, I wonder why people can't cook and bring it over?
And I always wonder why one can't make anything noodle?

And honestly I think I have break every rules above. Except the Mae-Kao one.
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Last edited by Oracle1o1; 03-31-2009 at 12:51 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2009, 05:50 PM
eyefish eyefish is offline
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Originally Posted by Oracle1o1 View Post
Good topic.
I like to get explaination on why things can't be done .

#5. People does cook and bring it over in US since it's easier, I wonder why people can't cook and bring it over?
And I always wonder why one can't make anything noodle?

And honestly I think I have break every rules above. Except the Mae-Kao one.

yeah, i'm interested on the "why" too.....
anyone know?????
i'm too scared of the ramifications to break the rules. hehehe
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:37 AM
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I have never heard of #2 and #5 being a part of Lao wake custom. We, all my friends and us have always brought food over to the people's house because we don't want them to have to have to cook for the guests while they are in the grieving period.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:55 AM
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I still can't figure out why we call Heun Dee.. another "why?" question.

Seriously, I think most US Lao break all those superstitious rules.

I only stick to "don't bring food home" that's a no no for me. The thinking is that you bring disease which was the caused for the deceased.

And you don't bring cooked food from your home to the heun dee, it's the connection thing. You can buy food that was prepared else where and bring it.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:38 AM
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I only know of #3 and 4.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:55 PM
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You guys for forget len pai (poker games).
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyefish View Post
What are some of the taboos/customs you know about Lao wakes/funeral.

The ones that stands out for me are:

1. At "heuan dee", you dont take food or anything from there.
2. You can't make noodle dishes until after the cremation on day of funeral.
3. You must wash your hands with the blessed water before leaving the funeral home or entering the house.
4. Women, if on their menstrual cycle cannot "bouat" as "mae kao".
5. People can't cook and take food over to "heuan dee".

I know that some Lao folks don't follow #1 and #5, depending on where they're from but I think majority do follow it. Any other? Share your knowledge
Here are my 'understanding' on some of the answers...

1. They called it 'Huan Dee' because it's considered that the deceased has moved on and beyond and in a sense, relieved of their life's sin that they have to re-pay in this lifetime. Remember, in Lao custom/budhism, we were re-born to re-pay our past life's sin...

2. You can't make noodle dishes because it's considered a string (ເສັ້ນ = Sen) and they think that by making noodle dishes, it represent a string that may bind the deceased soul to their former life and those that they left behind.

3. I always take a good shower after coming back from visiting 'Huan Dee', that's how my family had been doing and I follow the tradition. Basically, it's sort of like washing away any 'dead' scent away from your body...

4. Logically, if one is in menstrual, one shouldn't wear white anyway..correct, ladies?

5. Not sure on this one...

One more rule that I practice is that if it's not an immediate family's wake, then the children under 16 should not attend...this is due to the explanation that children are more prone to being followed/manipulate by the deceased soul, however, if it's immediate family then it's okay because the deceased knows them...

And yep, lin pai is a way of passing the time during the wake, lin pai helped pass the time and ensure that someone stay awake to watch over the coffin. I have never understood why during the wake someone must stay up and watch the coffin until my mother-in-law's funeral...It was 2001 and we were in Laos...on the fourth night, everyone was in bed, I was designated as the watcher and I was alone playing video game to help pass the time, a gush of wind blew the candle off the mantle and if know one was up, the whole place would have burn down. Since we have to keep the candle burning 24/7 during the wake, it's understandable that someone must be up to watch/monitor it...I remember that in the old day, they said one of the reason why you have to watch it, is to prevent a black cat from jumping over the coffin and wake the dead...make them sort of like in a Zombie state like...
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Last edited by Joe Fukawe; 04-04-2009 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Fukawe View Post
Here are my 'understanding' on some of the answers...

1. They called it 'Huan Dee' because it's considered that the deceased has moved on and beyond and in a sense, relieved of their life's sin that they have to re-pay in this lifetime. Remember, in Lao custom/budhism, we were re-born to re-pay our past life's sin...

2. You can't make noodle dishes because it's considered a string (ເສັ້ນ = Sen) and they think that by making noodle dishes, it represent a string that may bind the deceased soul to their former life and those that they left behind.

3. I always take a good shower after coming back from visiting 'Huan Dee', that's how my family had been doing and I follow the tradition. Basically, it's sort of like washing away any 'dead' scent away from your body...

4. Logically, if one is in menstrual, one shouldn't wear white anyway..correct, ladies?

5. Not sure on this one...

One more rule that I practice is that if it's not an immediate family's wake, then the children under 16 should not attend...this is due to the explanation that children are more prone to being followed/manipulate by the deceased soul, however, if it's immediate family then it's okay because the deceased knows them...

And yep, lin pai is a way of passing the time during the wake, lin pai helped pass the time and ensure that someone stay awake to watch over the coffin. I have never understood why during the wake someone must stay up and watch the coffin until my mother-in-law's funeral...It was 2001 and we were in Laos...on the fourth night, everyone was in bed, I was designated as the watcher and I was alone playing video game to help pass the time, a gush of wind blew the candle off the mantle and if know one was up, the whole place would have burn down. Since we have to keep the candle burning 24/7 during the wake, it's understandable that someone must be up to watch/monitor it...I remember that in the old day, they said one of the reason why you have to watch it, is to prevent a black cat from jumping over the coffin and wake the dead...make them sort of like in a Zombie state like...
The reason they have to watch the corpse is because, it is been known that people do come back to life. Very rare, but it happens, especially in the olden days when there was no medical experts to declare it.
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Last edited by Leena; 04-06-2009 at 11:05 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2009, 01:11 PM
eyefish eyefish is offline
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The reason they have to watch the corpse is because, it is been known that people do come back to life. Very rare, but it happens, especially in the olden days when there was no medical experts to declare it.
yeah scary, "yahn phee lok"!!!

you know that rhyme in lao that translates to "whoever sleeps on the outside the phee will come scare you and whoever sleeps in the middle, the phee will come visit you"

phai non kok phee mah lok
phai non ngang phee mah yahm

I always opted for the outside because my logical reasoning was that it'll come scare me and go away. but if i'm in the middle, then it'll come visit me and want to chat and stare at you and stay longer. LOL
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