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    October 18, 2008


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    Here I am again...
    Funerals in Brazil are exactly like this. it lasts about 24/26 hours. It is not common to send food or flowers. You send flowers only for the funeral.
    People dress in black when there are really close to the dead person.
    After the funeral, if you feel like doing it, you call the family asking if they need something like a ride to the grocery shopping, doing a load of laundry, simple things like that. But even you normally offer this kind of help when you are really close to the family.



    Thanks Fabiola, I try to make it really clear on the blog that this is all just based on my experiences and by no means do I want to say "so now that we have experienced one instance of something, this is exactly how it goes in Brazil!" - but it's good to know that this is quite typical and what people do for one another in times of hardship and grief. Take care and hope to hear from you soon!

    ali la loca

    Apparently purple flowers are for funerals in Brazil, as well as here in Mozambique. I'm curious as to the roots of this tradition...


    I think I remember hearing not to buy a person purple flowers in Brazil a long time ago... makes sense!


    I was shocked my first time at a Brazilian funeral. I felt like I was a voyeur on the family´s private pain (the personal goodbyes to the deceased before the actual burial) and you are right, there is no ceremony. No food or sending of food. Usually, showing up for the viewing (velório) is one´s expression of empathy for the loss. However, usually, if the family is Catholic, there is a seventh day mass, and that is really the religious ceremony. In Brazil it is expensive to embalm, so the great majority of people don´t, hence the need to bury the deceased in a span of 24 hours. When it is a head of state or other famous person, there is a more general viewing and they embalm the body, so the burial does not have to happen immediately.



    Lolla Moon

    I agree with Fabiola, but the purple flowers thing I have never heard of. People tend to prefer white flowers, and varieties like carnations. But there's no rules in this case.

    Yes, maybe it wasn't a funeral as you'd see back home. Even though this word (funeral) exists in portuguese, people in Brazil tend to call it more often "enterro" (burial), because, at the end of the day, that's what it is. You go, you say your condolences to the family, you see the deceased person in the coffin (something that is not common in Europe, I've later learned to my surprise...) and, if you wish, stay untill the moment they descend the coffin into the grave.

    Probably the family will be still too shocked (because they tend to proceed with the burial quite quickly), so you can expect more tears and hysteria than you would back home (also because brazilians tend to be more open with their feelings). The food thing is also another source of amazement to brazilians. As in many other cultures, food is strongly associated with celebrations, so it seems slightly inappropriate to feed the guests - even though they may be hungry, they'll wait untill getting home... Or have a coffe if there's a canteen nearby).

    As for dressing up, once again, the enterro is not a social occasion, where you serve food and dress your sunday clothes. It's basically to be there for people, say goodbye to the deceased and show you care. The family won't even notice if you're not dressed up - least the dead.

    McArthur Edwards

    Yes this normal of funeral services. I am a licensed embalmer/funeral director. I would like to come to brazil and provide my experience in the funeral profession in your country.

    McArthur Edwards

    If any one reading comment could refer me to any local funeral homes in Rio De Janerio, name and phone number. I would like to come down and offer my services. Thank you

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Currently in Rio...