16th Sept- Barry Delaney wears a dress to his best friend’s funeral, a pact the two men made years ago.
It made me wonder about the outfits that people wear to funerals. Based on our cognitive schemata (something that i learnt during class ) , we have a mental framework that is developed over time. In this case, the classic colours to wear at funerals are… BLACK and WHITE. Both of which represent a solemn tone to respect those who have passed on. During funerals, we look back and give tribute to those who have left this world and we tend to hear lines such as ‘ He/She loved char siew bao’ and a plate of char siew baos would be placed before the coffin, ‘ He/She loved ballads’ and you’d hear a whole playlist of favourites being played.
‘He/She loved colours…’
Would everyone come dressed in a myriad of colours then?
During Victorian times, women came dress in huge hats and black veils while men wore black tuxedos. Such loud and extravagent dressing was also observed during upper eastern cocktail parties. When it is a celebration event, we dress as such, when it is a solemn event, we dress as such as well! What i’m trying to say is,personally, there probably isn’t a need to follow the norm as the ‘departured’ would have wanted to see his/her loved ones in their best colours for the ‘last time’.
Usually, when someone dresses inappropriately(something not close to the usual dull) for a funeral, we tend to deem them disrespectful and insincere about the loss. Our behaviour are based on perceptions which are at times deceptive. Look in the case of Barry Delaney, he was heartbroken despite wearing a ‘silly’ outfit.
Photos from www.zimbio.com
“Kev was like my brother – we would have done anything for each other,” he told the Daily Record newspaper.
“We said that whoever died first, the other one had to wear a pink dress with green spots to the funeral – and we shook on it.
I think Delaney showed respect for his best friend as well as he did keep to his promise. I feel that respect not only comes from the outer appearance but more importantly from within.
Back to the topic, in the current era, there are cultural groups where traditions still stay firmly rooted amongst people who believe in them. No problem, I give credits to them for that. But if we take a look at the big picture, from east to west..
Is it culture or cognitive schemata that affects the way we dress at funerals?
Possibly a bit of both? Sometimes before we head to the funeral parlour,we’d still go through the thinking process about respecting the families and loved ones involved. Sometimes we comb our hair back or pin them up neatly, more so put on really dark shades to fit the whole mood. I think media plays a part as well. You know we watch Infernal Affairs or The Godfather, they look really sleek during funerals yes? Thereby, I feel sometimes these visual effects play with our mind and we execute our behaviours as such.
On a final note, if you’d ask me what I would wear at a funeral? It really depends who the passing is and I’d wear something He/She would like to see me in. If the party is someone I’m not really close to, I think I’d stick to the darker colour tones..
Photo from www.yourdeathwish.com