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Before actually attending the funeral my parents made sure everything I was wearing was black. I made a mistake of wearing a red bracelet and my parents scolded me. As I took off bracelet, I asked my parents why I couldn’t wear a red bracelet and they said it was because the color red was associated with happiness and celebrations. I understood immediately because we recently celebrated what I considered the happiest time of the year, Chinese New Year, which prominately uses red. So it would have been disrespectful to wear red during the funeral. Many Western cultures “dictate that funeral grieving attendees avoid color altogether and opt for the lowest value, black” (Hirschman). So even across different places black is considered a mourning color for many cultures.
However, the appropriateness of these grieving colors varies for different cultures and religions. Yellow, a color that most people in Western societies equate with happiness has a different meaning to Egyptians. They used this color in the masks of mummies and tombs under the belief that yellow was associated with gold, which was considered to be imperishable, eternal and indestructible (Douma). This was done in hopes that the deceased loved one would have a long comfortable afterlife. In Iran the color blue is perceived as a mourning color because it is symbolic of heaven and spirituality (“Cultural Color”). Heaven and spirituality are often associated with life after death. Despite the fact that these two cultures don’t use the same color to represent the afterlife they are still able to share common ground. These symbolisms all relate to life after death which is seen in my culture and more notably, Egyptians.
Colors also play a significant role in the types o...

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...ou leave the world as clean and pure (“Tarah”). Islamic religion states that to prepare the body for burial you have to wash it first, this is called “Ghusl” (“Muslim Funeral Traditions”). The belief behind this is the body will lose its state of cleanliness and purity if it isn’t washed before burial. Hindus also require the body of a deceased loved one to be washed. The body is also “anoint[ed] with herbs, spices and scents to dispel any spiritual corruption” (“Hindus: death and the dead”). All three of these religions also require the body to be washed by same-sex family members or people out of either respect or religious reasons. The beliefs behind ritual cleansing of the body are pretty similar throughout these three religions. It all comes down to “cleaning” the body literally and/or to signify something spiritually such as cleanliness or spiritual purity.

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