The Torajan Funeral

Ma Vie à Someplace in This World

If my life was a movie, this day would have been titled: One Funeral, One Proposal and Four Faintings. OK, I only saw two people faint, but you get my drift.

As, I wrote earlier, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea of being a foreign tourist at the funeral of a complete stranger, but our Torajan guide, Pak Agust, reassured us we wouldn’t be intruding and that people were used to tourists. The day before the funeral, Pak Agust told us that it’s customary to bring gifts for the family, including bags of sugar or cartons of cigarettes. So we walked into a little shop with Pak Agust and bought some cancer sticks — really I wasn’t thrilled about giving cigarettes, but welcome to the gray area of travel, again.

We drove for nearly an hour to a small Torajan village named Kampung Dole. The drive was picturesque…

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