Goin’ up to the spirit in the sky,
That’s where I’m gonna go when I die.
When I die and they lay me to rest,
Gonna go to the place that’s the best. — Norman Greenbaum, Spirit in the Sky
I don’t consider myself a morbid person, but I do think it is fascinating to learn how different cultures attend to their dead. On this blog, I’ve already posted about visiting the Catacombs in Paris, and posted about graves in Kosovo here and here. I was also interested to learn men in Kosovo used to wear burial shrouds as part of their everyday attire. (Also, for the record, one of my favorite things I did in New Orleans was take a walking tour of their cemeteries, which I’ve done twice.)
In Kosovo, it is common to see obituaries posted publicly, such as taped up on electrical posts. I asked my counterpart about it. He said when someone dies, a family member will go to a print shop and give them the deceased’s relevant information (name, birth and death dates, and a photo, as well as information on when/where services will be held). The print shop prints the obituaries, and then family members post them around the village. (The word “Njotim” means “notice.”)
I also learned that the different border colors tell you which religion the deceased person was. Green means the person was Muslim, while black means he/she was Catholic.
I recently attended a language training, and we got a new workbook to help us practice our language skills. One of the lessons focuses on obituaries!
I think the cartoon man looks like the guy from the movie Up. 🙂