Yayasan Suria JB (YSJB) – Condolences money (“Pak Kam”).
Of late, though it is strange and unusual, especially during these hard economic times, YSJB has been receiving condolence money or bereavement money from donors ranging from RM500 to RM5,000 – we are surprised too but nevertheless, we received with thanks and gratefulness to enable us to reach out to more Poor & Needy.
The Chinese are steep in traditions and money is involved in every aspect of life, including death. It is expected that those who attend the wake or Chinese funeral give money placed in white envelopes to family members. The money is meant to be used for the funeral and should be an odd number.
During the funeral, offerings of food items, incense, and joss paper are commonly presented. The offering of food and joss paper signifies the continuing interdependence between the deceased and their living descendants.
It’s the Hungry Ghost Festival time now in Malaysia and just like in the west where during Halloween, people dress up as superheroes, cartoon characters, vampires (or vamps), monsters, ghosts and their mothers-in-law.
But if you see any of these coming at you and asking for “trick or treat” during this Hungry Ghost Festival, run.
Yes, the Chinese pay tribute to the deceased in an entirely different way. The Hungry Ghost Festival is observed mostly by Buddhists and Taoists during the seventh month on the lunar calendar. During this time, they believe that the gates of Hell open and spirits roam the earth.
To keep them happy and harmless, those who observe this occasion burn paper offerings and money, leave food and drinks out in the open, and provide entertainment in the form of getai performances.
Everything being said and done, will YSJB be receiving more donations (condolence/bereavement/pak kam) during this Hungry Ghost Festival? Perhaps, more? Ha ha but whatever it is, whatever comes in will go towards helping our brothers and sisters who are alive but suffering due to lack of money to survive.
In YSJB, we believe in taking care and treating people well when they are alive. And even when they are dead, we treat and accord them with respect and dignity. We have been involved in paying for the funeral expenses for the dead, irrespective of race or religion, we are coloured blind.
From our involvement in birth, from pregnant girls to baby deliveries and now to death issues (like paying for funeral expenses, condolence money, etc), YSJB is indeed one NGO referred to by some as providing “CRADDLE TO GRAVE” service.
Nevermind, by whatever name we are called, we serve humanity with Lve & Humility, this is important!
I leave you with this video sent to me by a YSJB supporter. Enjoy this hilarious narrative by a monk!
As always my favorite quote:
“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”