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Nov 1, 2013

Ways Done in the Past - Chinese Funeral Bands

Chinese funeral band in Singapore c 1970

This incidental, unusual traditional "heritage" blog topic is shared on Chinese funeral bands of ways in old Singapore in the past.  These are not fond nostalgic Singapore memories though.

A related blog on Singaporean Funeral Procession with thanks to Bradley Farless.  To the eyes of our foreign visitors and tourists in the past, the funeral procession of Singaporean Chinese was a similar "culture  shock" as the "Death Houses" in Sago Lane, Chinatown, Singapore.

Old Singapore, "Street of the Dead, Sago Lane" in 1960

In Sago Lane old Chinese were waiting for their death and could watch their coffin being carved. A paper house is being burned to live in in the hereafter.

The Sago Lane's famous Chinese death houses or funeral homes came into existence in the late 19th century.

This was the place where people near death will be left to die, with the funeral parlour prepared below the building. All the Chinese funeral paraphernalia (funeral clothing, home appliances, paper models such as houses, cars, incense paper etc.) were related to death rites were sold in shops on this lane. The death houses were banned by the government in 1961, and by the late 1960s, all the shophouses on the street were demolished, with part of the street being demolished to make way for Chinatown Complex. (Source: Wikipedia).

The archived photos on this blog with the credit of the National Archives of Singapore and most of the contributions from Mr Ronni Pinsler with thanks and acknowledgement.

For traffic safety, these funeral procession on the lorries are disallowed in the streets of Singapore now.

Elsewhere among ethnic Chinese in Taiwan, the latest trend of a funeral band is shown on YouTube here.



Blogger Bradley Farless said...

Interesting post. Thank you for the mention. I was somewhat embarrassed that I was enjoying a funeral procession as if it were a parade. Singapore has some very interesting traditions. I went to a Malay wedding once. The drums being played while the groom approaches was pretty cool.

February 22, 2017 at 12:13 PM  

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