Short excerpt from ‘A Chinese Christmas Carol’

xmas carol

Grandma Ling nodded sadly. Joie only knew very little about the Chinese customs when it came to wakes and funerals, but she didn’t know that a mother couldn’t attend her own daughter’s wake and funeral. So a mother couldn’t say a proper good-bye to her own daughter?

“That’s very stupid,” said Joie.

“That’s the custom,” said Grandma Ling sadly.

“Grandma Ling, how are you going to say good-bye to my mom, your daughter?”

“I can’t”

“What happens if you turn up at the wake and the funeral?”

“Joie, in Chinese custom when it comes to wakes and funerals, we Chinese people take it very, very seriously. If the customs are not followed and obeyed, there will be bad luck, ill fortune, and disaster within the family.”

Joie didn’t say anything.

“Joie, during the funeral, you must send your parents off well and properly, especially for me, OK?”

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