Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Midnight Funeral

Funeral at midnight

Luckily I did not have to attend the full 6-9 hour (sometimes longer) funeral this time. Funerals can be 2 day events for everyone to come and give their respects. I went with the church choir to give gifts and perform the traditional ceremony.
Me and my host mum.
My neighbor SaOli with my
my host mum, Eterei.
We arrived at 10 pm to practice singing for an hour before going to the actual home of the funeral. 10 pm! When we showed not everyone was there yet so we did not actually get started until 10:40. As soon as I was told it started at 10 pm I knew I was in for a long night, it was a weekday too so getting up at 6 am the next morning was going to be rough. My host mum warned me to have a rest, I should have listened!
We head over to the home at 11:40 and I had to walk in first carrying flowers while ladies behind me had a long lacy cloth. I place the flowers down while they wrap the cloth around the casket. Once we all sit down there are words being said and we sing. We sang for about an hour then more words were said. After everyone went to another fale for gifts. I guess because we brought singing, gifts and showed our respect the family has to thank us by giving us bread, butter, food and more food. Oh and more food. Always food!
It was a really really long night and I did not get back until 3 am. I think they had it so late because it is hot during the day. Unless you work, a lot of Samoans sleep during the hottest times of the day, probably making it easier to stay up until 3 am.
I was surprisingly full of energy and I think it is because it was the first time my village got together outside of church since school started, kinda fun socializing! When I say socializing, I do not mean my typical socializing where you are catching up and hearing how everyone is but.. I say hello and tell them whether school is good or not. Tell them the village is great, ask if their family is good or not without going into details. (Language is a barrier)! I had the same conversation with everyone I knew in the village and I know it sounds boring but it was fun feeling like I was included in my village!! My host mum even let me walk back without her!! I was with others from the village but at least she was not trying to hold my hand the whole time, I think I am making progress.

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