7 Mar 2009
SMILEY SATURDAY - Sicilian funerals
More participants here
I don't know if it still exists in Sicily but in the past professional morners were engaged for a funeral. These were women whose job was to sob and cry as loud as they could while showing an immense grief and sorrow sitting around the coffin. When the payed time was over they went away took up their normal lives and chatted and laughed and counted the well earned money.
It came never in my mind that I would assist to such a funeral, but I did. The only difference was that there weren't professional mourners but the sicilian husband himself. While following the coffin of his wife, he sobbed and cried so loud that people all around could hear it even when they were very far away on the street. We tried to calm him down, it was as if all the deads would wake up with this noice, but that didn't work, it was part of the show.
When the coffin was out of the van and stood there, he throw himself on it, banged his head on it again and again, so that I feared he would get brain damaged if he wasn't already and was looking for a cold bottle of water to cool his red front before it turned to a blue bruise. When he had finished with banging his head, he started with his fists and hit and hit while crying out lout "Why, why, why ?". Now people from northern Europe are not used at all to this exaggerated manifestation of grief and when I looked around I saw scandalized faces and eyes as big as saucers. But that didn't bother him. As quick as this special mourning show had started as quick it was finished. He liftet himself up, brushed his trousers, and told the waiting intimidated little group : "Now lets eat something" and that was what we did. The restaurant's name was "Amusing place".
The only thing which surprised me was that his wife in the coffin didn't bang back !
Afterwards at home I realized the comic of the situation and I laughed so hard that I cried !