To find the similarities in Indonesia and Mexico’s cultures, tend to spark more genuine interests.
The funerary rites carried out by the Toraja tribe in South Sulawesi bear a resemblance to the Mexican Day of the Dead.
Lizett Aceves, the cultural attaché at the Mexican Embassy in Indonesia, told, “The Torajan funerary rites have caught our attention because it shows that we have a similar conception about death and how we honor our beloved ones who have passed away.”
“In some movies, people wrongly believe the Mexican Day of the Dead is some kind of Halloween. But here, we celebrate the life of the people who passed away. It is an act of love,” Lizett said.
Unesco has listed Day of the Dead as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Celebrated every November 1-2, the indigenous festivity commemorates the transitory return of the deceased loved ones. People would place the departed’s favorite foods on top of the marigold-decorated home altar or ofrendas.
A well-known Torajan death ritual is the ma’nene ritual of exhuming and grooming the bodies of the deceased. The Torajan people would dress the deceased in new clothes.
The triennial ritual reflects the importance of nurturing strong ties with family members.