Discussion in 'Culture' started by Ruzete, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. Ruzete

    Ruzete Well-Known Member

    what happens at a Czech funeral? is it the same as american funerals?
  2. tuzemski

    tuzemski Active Member

    everybody is cremated, or most everybody. They gather at the "house of sadness" and have a ceremony and the casket slips into the crematorium.
    However there are other variations. I once even developed some pictures for someone of the deceased!
  3. Malnik

    Malnik Well-Known Member

    Everybody????.........thats radical! Usually the mourners get go home.........
  4. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    Oops, wrong quote bit!
    How do you mean by 'variations'? Obviously an alternative is burial - are burials reserved for certain people in society? Just curious, unless I misunderstood the post! I was thinking of mausoleums or private family burial grounds.
  5. tuzemski

    tuzemski Active Member

    some get buried. I have even attended the big drink till you drown after funeral service.
  6. babicka

    babicka Well-Known Member

    I do not know whether they still exist, but many years ago I remember walking through a Czech grave yard just outside of Prague where many of the grave stones displayed memorable photographs of the deceased , which I thought was a nice.
  7. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    There are some lovely headstones in UK cemeteries with photos on, except I think in some churchyards they do not allow it - when my grandmother was buried, we could only use certain stone, they were very strict as to what you can and cannot have in that cemetery. Yet I have been to the large town cemetery here and there were some very grand headstones, one I liked with an etched BMW car on it, obviously done from a photo - it looked like a photo, but etched. Unfortunately, the grave beneath it contained a teenage boy, it was probably a photo of his car on the stone.

    Not sure if any of those sort are seen in CZ, but they are beautiful, like a black and white photo etched onto the stone.
  8. tuzemski

    tuzemski Active Member

    Yes, I've seen those stones you're taLKING ABOUT.
  9. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    If cremation is that general in the Czech Republic, I'm impressed. Differently from most Europeans, the Czech are as advanced as the Japanese.
  10. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    I think sooner or later many countries will be cremation only. I personally wouldn't want cremation, but by the time I go I expect it will be the only option in the UK. We do have an option called woodland burial, which is where you can be buried in specially designated woodland area, in a biodegradable coffin, which I like the idea of. Really, though, I think most countries are soon going to only have cremation, with only dignitaries, politicans and royals allowed burial.
  11. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    More to Czech funerals as I had misfortune last year to have to make arrangements for one.

    Cremation is majority...and basic funeral is arrangement through government funeral office (or select one of the private ones which are more expensive). They take care of everything, you just bring clothes for deceased (no shoes) and pay for storage of dead body in cooler (still in the hospital), transportation from hospital to crematorium....cremation. In two weeks you can take streetcar to crematorium ofice and pick up your black plastic back (with their logo) with urn/ashes of deceased. Nobody is asking what are you going to do with it. There is general opinion that it is yours and you can do with it as you please (discretely).i.e. at your cottage etc. Total price around 10 000 Kc, 500Kc is given back by government to person who is taking care of arrangements (not necessary relative).

    It is also customary if deceased knew lots of people to have printed (governm. funeral honme takes care of that too)what is called "parte" which is black framed page with little graphic and short poem or quotation, name of deceased and "died after long illness on (date) and under that, "being missed by ....(name) daugter .......(wife) and (names).... grandchildren. ...and place and date of funeral service (if there is one).

    There is many cemeteries where you can have ashes officially spread. It is one time payment around 1800 Kc. However, they do not do that in the winter, so you have to keep urn at home or keep it in the storage in crematorium for 50 Kc/mo till you want to pick it up.

    This is most popular procedure in Cz....or at leats of those who are not in favour of funeral service and consider themselves atheists. Most Czechs are not members of any religion, even if they were babtized before 1948, they are not members of the church.

    If they chose funeral service which is usually conducted by crematorium rented room of appropriate size (depending on how many people are you planning to invite), there is sign with name of deceased placed on side of the podium. This service usually comes with rented speaker whose general speach is based on notes or extremely short conversation with family. If deceased is someone famous then there is plenty other famous who love to give speaches. You can select songs or can bring music tape played when guests are gathering and during the time cofffin is backing into drapes which are openning and closing after coffin gets in. There are usually few wreaths from family with ribbons indicating their names, perhaps some small wreath with white flowers from small children/grandchildren. It is nice to bring some flowers if you are mailed "parte" = announcement of death and place and time of funeral) invited and place them by the coffin. After service, guests shake hands of family and say "Uprimnou soustrast".

    This is description of "funeral" in Praha where neighbours are not as close as in villages and small towns, where family feels that they have to have funeral "for others" or "so people woudn't talk".
  12. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    I am sorry, but I have to correct the data you mention about the social security contribution for funerals in CR - it is 5000.00 Kc, not just 500. Probably you just skipped one digit. However, 10,000 Kc represents a very very modest ceremony and cremation, as an average price of a coffin for cremation (not grave) is around 8000 Kc. On average, costs of a funeral in central Moravia are 20,000 Kc, i.e. twice as much. Also, there are no government-owned or operated funeral homes, just private or town-hall office ones.
  13. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Yes, I am sorry, state contribution towards the funeral is $5000.
    I just skipped "0". Thanks for correction.

    Person died in hospital out of Praque. Price all inclusive (with storage of the body in cool room of the hospital and transportation to Praha was included in my quatation Including cremation only, economy casket was included and all above as I said. I do not have bills with me so I cannot check exactly, but know for sure that I didnt pay much more than 10 000 Kc (that included one month storage of ashes at the crematorium). I did not see coffin, however when I asked I was told that it is not cardboard box , but regular coffin without any embelishments. There was no service, no announcements as there are no relatives or friends of deceased.

    I was urged by other Czechs to go to state run funeral home and also recommended that by hospital as they felt that city (townhall) or what I perhaps mistakenly called government funeral homes had fair prices.

    Funeral office was on Old Town Square, by Dlouha ul. and I was very pleased with their services and would recommend them to anybody. Lady in the office took lots of time to explain everything to me as I did not have previous experience with any funeral. I came there when Dr. told me that my relative will die within hours of few days and to make arrangements. Lady in the office was really very nice and professional and did her interview at that time so when my relative died I just had to bring clothes and sign the final papers and pay. Visa or American Express is acceptable too. Very well organized, informative, giving me all folder with all dokuments with written notes on the top of each one where I should be taken them and what is for me to keep. This was one of the customer services in Prague I have to say was excellent.

    It is true that price of the funeral can be much higher, but due to friends...I was there alone to deal with it, it made no sense to have anything more done. Deceased had no religious inclination whatsoever and wished to be cremated just like her mother and brother and her ashes spread. When I was considering who I could tell of her death, I could think of two people only and I did phoned them after all was over. There were not even people who would be concerned about her when she was deadly ill for 10 months. Thus, my decision for above type of funeral.

    However, I thought it could be very helpful to someone who would get into same situation and would have to deal with lonely relative or friend not knowing how it is done. I certainly didnt know (I was only born there, but didnt live there).

    Hope that nobody on this board needs it in the future.
  14. Sílený Jízda

    Sílený Jízda Active Member

    My wife told me of her grandmothers funeral when she passed. Regretfully, I could not attentd as I was stateside and short on funding. Otherwise I would have been there on the first thing burning. Her grandmother for some reason liked me straight away without even so much as meeting me while others in my wifes family took a little longer to warm up to me. The way she spoke of the funeral was depressing and sad.

    The reason why I say that is because I've been to funerals in my family where they were not so much depressing as they were happy. I'm sure most of it has to do with the fact my family attend church and many of us are Christian. For us when a fellow christian dies it's a celebration for them since they are going to a better place. My wifes family is atheist and she knew her grandmother wasn't a christian. The way she described the casket being rolled into a seperate room with the cold iron doors slamming shut was that of sadness, desperation, and depression. Her grandmother was buried in the local cemetary actually not far from the apartment building.

    I will remember her as the stubborn old lady that was just as nice as she was stubborn. The first time I met her was the first time I was introduced to slevovice. Needless to say she thought it was funny that her grand daughters half native american half scott boyfriend from Texas couldn't hold his booze.

  15. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    If you like to walk through the cemeteries you MUST visit Slavin cemetary on Vysehrad, it is the place of honor for famous Czechs. (nice walk there from Metro Vysehrad).

    The biggest and I think oldest other than Jewish cemetary is Olsany, which would probably take half a day to walk through. It has two parts and it is very interesting with toomb stones, photos etc.

    And oldest in Prague is of course Jewish cemetary in old town jewish quorters, near old town square. It is so old that there is not much to see but agent stones you cant read. You pay admission to go to this one.

    First two are interesting places to see, even if you don't have morbit thoughts.
  16. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    Thanks magan! Sounds interesting!

    Not exactly a case of liking walking through cemeteries, lol! I used to use the ones I mentioned as shortcuts whilst on my way to a different part of town :wink: Takes about 20 minutes off the walk if you cut through, as the cemeteries take up swathes of land here! It is very quiet, peaceful, has squirrels running about and lots of birdsong. Living in the town centre, it is a tranquil place too, away from the traffic and crowds. I notice different stones, and, like the car one, the odd arty one stands out as a bit different. When my grandmother died, I wanted to design a stone I knew would be nice, with a poem and a photo of bluebells (flowers) and that is when Mum told me about the regulations! So, unfortunately I couldn't do it - I was going to pay for the stone.
  17. czechchris

    czechchris Well-Known Member

    There is a new Jewish cemetery, too, isn't there? Where Kafka is buried? Is that in the one at Olsany?
    When we visited the Old Jewish cemetery it was raining, a fitting backdrop to a sad and depressing place. I think, though, that it is a very interesting part of the Jewish museum - the history of the cemetery is interesting.

    The Jewish cemetery in Čáslav is undergoing restoration - there is a website about it.

    I, too, used to use a local cemetery as a shortcut, Brigitte, when I lived in the North of England. Browsing the old stones can very interesting, and revealing about the town. I remember memorials of mining disasters in that town.
  18. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    bit of an overgeneralization to say that all are cremated, then speak of the cemetaries around Prague eh? :}

    Brigitte, you had mentioned that: I think sooner or later many countries will be cremation only

    Don't say that to a Ukrainain, they beleive that if cremated, your soul hasn't a chance to return...
  19. brigitte

    brigitte Well-Known Member

    I think one of the most difficult stones to pass are children's/babies graves. My friend had a stillborn twin, and she is buried in the children's corner in one of the cemeteries I walk through. It is perhaps more humbling than the other graves to see children's and babies ones, as I went to visit my friend's baby's to put flowers and it was very hard not to feel very especially saddened at seeing all the graves with toys and kiddies trinkets. Quite humbling.

    Also the crematatorium is nearby, and there is a garden of rest where there are lots of rose bushes and other flower beds. Again, very woodland like, and there are memorial stones, not sure if just ashes were scattered or any urns are actually buried beneath the stone. You often see people just sitting reading books, or deep in thought. If I am exhausted, I often sit and rest a while too. I just sit and concentrate on the birds singing.

    The thing that annoys me is vandals - a few years ago, someone went into one cemetery and smashed up Jewish graves, spraying swastikas on the stones - that is particularly sick, but often ornate stones are smashed up by idiots, normally stone angels are toppled or have their heads knocked off. The same with stone Jesuses. Every now and again there is a spate of vandalism, then it quietens down.
  20. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Well, even the urns with the ashes of cremated deceased persons are kept in cemeteries; one of the reasons why cremation is so widespread in CR is lack of space. And the old cemeteries are considered as historical monuments, namely Slavín and Olšany in Prague, as well as the Jewish cemeteries - Prague, Ivančice, Boskovice and many other places.

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