Welcome to CYB| Chea-Yee's Blog.

This blog captures the musings and anecdotes of the daily life of a Malaysian who is now living in Melbourne, Australia.


A modern Korean Death Anniversary.

So I'm staying in a korean household still. In Australia, that is.

Today, was the anniversary of my korean landlady's husband death. Otherwise known as  기제, (gi jae), most asian cultures practice this custom in different variations.

I was wondering why the landlady bought an entire box of "ddeok" (rice cake) this afternoon, and why the landlady's children were tinkering around the house for the past two days.....

Well, the landladys' daughter (and family), and her son (and family) came together tonight. Plus her four australian accented sounding korean grandchildren that's making a lot of noise downstairs.....  Since the family is christian, I doubt there's going to be any incense or ancestor worship, but probably just a family reunion of sorts.

Speaking of death anniversaries, the Chinese in Malaysia do practice something similar, called Qing Ming, (清明节), or "Tomb Sweeping Day", which happens around the 5th April of every year. Though my family does not specifically practise it for many years, I remember going to the graveyard around April during this time last year to visit both the cemetery where the ashes of my dad's relatives, and grave of my Ma Ma. (or father's mother) were kept.

On Qing Ming, most wives would go with their chinese husbands as they married "into" that particular family, and by practice, had to follow the customs of the husband's family. The male offsprings are normally responsible for the uptake and care of their elder's gravestones.

When a wife of a chinese person dies, they are normally buried with the husband's side, and their place of origin. i.e, if my grandmother is of hokkien origin, and married into a chinese family of cantonese origin, when they passed away, they'd be buried with the husband's cemetery of the cantonese origin. 

Perhaps the chinese may have something similar like "Gi Jae", but as far as my readings have revealed, we've only had QingMing for the last 2,500 years, and that's probably to remain the same for the next few hundred years to come.

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