- Category: Other community compassion articles
- Published on Monday, 06 December 2010 23:47
- Written by Chelsea Lottman
- Hits: 734
During my time in Moshi, Tanzania I had the opportunity to attend the mazishi, or funeral, of a young man. Tanzanians regard funerals as very important and critical to attend. Making an effort to help out a friend or family member in need, or sometimes even just an acquaintance, is expected of everyone. It is even considered polite to join a funeral procession if you pass one, or at the very least to stop and pay your respects as the procession passes by.
After learning of the boy’s home life and his family’s financial situation we offered to help in any way possible and were immediately taken up on the offer. We provided the flowers that were used at the funeral – five dozen roses – for a mere 20 USD.
We arrived at the home and quickly learned that the funeral service would be taking place in the back yard. The hour-long service was very emotional and consisted of three different preachers each taking a turn to speak. After the service, a meal was brought out and served to everyone in attendance. Family and friends spent time catching up and we were introduced to many new people. Once the meal was finished everyone walked down to the road where several dala dalas were waiting to take us to the cemetery.
Throughout the duration of the funeral I witnessed compassion in many different ways. I took part by providing the flowers which were used at the funeral. I watched as family and friends arrived from great distances to support their loved ones. I heard the sincerity behind each voice as we drove to the cemetery and I watched the impact that each hug had on the surviving family members. Although funerals are considered a celebration of life and are not to be thought of as gloomy events, it was still a very trying time for the young man’s family. The compassion shown before, during, and after that day helped to alleviate the pressures of planning a complex memorial and eased the pain of those close to him.