Examining Funeral Customs Around the Globe

Many people view memorial services and funerals as a means of honoring their lost loved ones and celebrating their lives. Funerals are an opportunity for surviving family members and friends to come together to support one another while seeking a sense of closure. However, the exact way in which a loved one may be honored varies widely from culture to culture. 

Balinese cremation ceremony offerings

South Korea

Not long ago, a funeral with burial to follow was the most widely accepted method of honoring a loved one in South Korea. However, due to the shrinking availability of land for burial, more families have had to choose cremation. In fact, the South Korean government passed a law requiring that families who bury their loved ones exhume them after 60 years. Instead of a traditional cremation, South Koreans are putting their own spin on the trend by working with companies that can transform cremains into decorative beads.

The Philippines

There is an array of ethnic groups in the Philippines who each have their own unique funeral customs. The Apayo, for example, traditionally bury their loved ones under the kitchen while the Caviteno near Manila select a hollowed-out tree as a burial ground. The customs prior to burial also vary. The Benguet place a blindfold on their deceased relatives and position them near the entrance to the home.


While many cultures bury their dead, the Balinese prefer cremation. They believe that only through cremation can the spirits of their lost loved ones become free of earthly constraints and able to travel to the afterlife. Cremation services in Bali are characterized by elaborate rituals. Due to the lavishness of the rites, many families initially bury their dead to give themselves time to save the necessary funds to carry out the cremation rituals. Quite often, the decedents are buried until a person of royal standing passes. Then, the deceased commoners are cremated along with the individual of nobility.

Mountain View Funeral Home and Memorial Park can help you honor your loved one’s wishes and traditions with respectful, personalized funeral and cremation options. Our funeral home also offers pre-arrangement services to families in the Tacoma area. You can reach our memorial park at (253) 584-0252 for more information.

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