The S'porean Chinese

NAVIGATION: The !Kung San | The Toraja | The S'porean Chinese | Comparisons, Conclusions, and Final Thoughts | Sources & References

INTERVIEWS
| Xi Ying Khoo | Jodie Goh | Chen Jiaying | Chee Hui Ming | Toh Jiahe |


INTRODUCTION

These interviewees often had to negotiate between our own religion and those whose funerals we were attending. All but one interviewee was Christian, and funerals attended were either of Christian or Buddhist faith. Only one attended a funeral of the same faith (Jiaying attending her paternal Grandfather’s funeral in Canada), while the others attended Buddhist funerals (often an element of generational difference in these cases), aside from Hui Ming (atheist) attending a Christian funeral of her ex-classmate’s. Despite this, they managed to overcome constrains of their own beliefs out of respect. Still, the funerals attended by the interviewees were not considered large, elaborate affairs by the community.

From the interviewees, we can see that death and funeral rites are greatly linked to other cultural domains, especially religion and medicine. Despite the great religious and cultural diversity in Singapore, one thing remains evident from these interviews – that funeral rites are still closely tied to religious beliefs and human relationships.


For its link to the cultural domain of medicine, we also look at Singapore’s Human Organ Transplant Act as a opt out organ donation system and how it affects perceptions of death by our Singaporean Chinese interviewees. It offers an interesting angle to how death and dying is treated by the state and how this impacts the politics of death in Singapore. HOTA was introduced in 1987 and initially worked on “presumed consent” to the “removal of certain organs (kidneys) for transplantation upon death”. It first only applied to “traumatic causes of death among Singapore permanent residents and citizens aged 21 to 60 and non-Muslims”. The Act was later amended to include all causes of death and the removal of the heart, liver and corneas. A second amendment was made four years later to include Muslims. (Tong, et. al., 2009, p. 346)


Questions asked were categorised into perceptions towards death and dying, pre-funeral, funeral and post-funeral rites that the interviewees have experienced.



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NAVIGATION: The !Kung San | The Toraja | The S'porean Chinese | Comparisons, Conclusions, and Final Thoughts | Sources & References