Why study about Death?
The worlds great poet, Williams Shakespeare used to describe death as the undiscoverd country from whose bourn no traveler returns. (Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1). Death is mysterious; no one knows what their actual death would be like until they experienced it, only once in their lifetime. No one ever knows exactly if death is the end, or even a new beginning to a humans life. What have been consoling our minds for long up to present are only beliefs, faiths that are embedded deeply in our traditions, some of which are common, some of which are extremely different.
In the 21st century, the information technology age and scientific revolution have proven successful; people now can meet virtually online, keep information in electronic files and send them across the world in less than 5 seconds; transportation has never been more convenient, fast and effective. Alongside or as the result of the scientific revolution, in all human societies traditions and cultures go through change. Some cultural traditions, for instance, are no longer practiced either because they are perceived as old-fashioned or uncivilized.
Up to the 19th century, the native Pacific islanders were still living their lives based on self-struggle; geological factors had been shaping their lifestyles. Due to lack of scientific knowledge, they had developed different kinds of beliefs or belief systems to explain natural phenomena. The curiosity had risen mostly from attempts to explain the phenomenon of death and some of the myths still have not been proven right or wrong even by science, up to the present. Such beliefs are explained by Natural Theology, the reasoned knowledge of a God or gods which man may be supposed, whether rightly or wrongly, to be capable of attaining by the exercise of his natural faculties alone (Frazer, 1991).
There are debates as to whether or not South-East Asians were the original people to migrate to the Pacific (Crocombe, 2007). However, the evidence that shows how the two regions,
As this essay aims to discuss the rites and traditions regarding death in the Pacific and
Southeast Asia refers to the countries which are located geographically south of
The Pacific refers to the countries which are located geographically in
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