Death in Cultures Around the World

Article Highlight: Native American Death Rituals

While each Native American tribe is unique in its death practices, there are some common beliefs about death and the burial process held by many tribes. Since Native Americans do not organize time through structured… Keep reading »

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memorial cross

Death is universal, and every culture has its own ways of dealing with it. From how a person is laid to rest to how he is memorialized, every culture and religion has a unique way of burying, grieving and memorializing their deceased ones. Explore what various cultures around the world have in common, as well as particular customs that makes each one unique.

Cultural Customs and Views About Death

Grieving and burial practices are unique around the world. What may be commonplace in one country might be considered sacrilegious somewhere else. Learn how religious beliefs play a big part in taking care of a deceased person's remains.

  • Rituals and Traditions - Learn about Navajo burial rituals designed to keep the dead from returning to the land of the living, and why following correct burial rituals is so important in African cultures. You can also explore burial customs in China, Italy, Ancient Egypt and more.
  • Memorials - Gone but not forgotten, you'll find information about memorials erected to the dead all around the world, including war memorials in the United States and controversial memorials in Ireland.
  • Expressing Grief - Many cultures express grief in rather creative ways, including through poetry or music.

Understanding Promotes Respect for All

As culturally diverse as the world is, there's so much to learn from each other about dying and grieving. Gaining a better understanding of the beliefs and practices of people around the world offers another way to connect and develop mutual respect for one another.

Death in Cultures Around the World