South Koreans are increasingly holding their own fake funerals to find a deeper meaning and joy in life.
The fake funerals last about four hours. Participants write out their biography and letters to loved ones. They decide on the words they’d like on their tombstone while looking at the funeral photos they selected.
Later they wrap themselves in linen shrouds and lie in their coffin as they meditate and reflect on their lives. While in the coffin, a ‘death master’ wearing black robes hides their eyes and wraps up their wrists
The latest seminar was held by Happy Dying earlier this week with fifty adults participating, but healing centres for the ‘Well Dying’ movement have been in existence for nearly a year now. They’ve grown so much in popularity that many South Korean companies have been encouraging their employees to participate in fake funerals and even sending them to events.
The bizarre rituals stem from a serious concern. Despite a booming economy and tourism industry, South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, with an average of 43 people taking their own life every day, with many people blaming the high-stress environment Koreans face in the workplace.
While South Koreans are taking certainly taking the idea to a whole new level, thinking about death to enjoy life is not a new concept. Death cafes, where people are encouraged to meet to chat about death, are becoming increasingly popular with venues popping up around Europe, North America and Australia.