Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

On being dead

We've never been invited to a Spanish funeral but we have seen plenty in passing. People don't dress up in suits and posh frocks; apparently Franco said that people had to wear clothes without colour - white, black or grey - and the reaction, after democracy returned, was to turn out in ordinary clothes. The mourners often clap when the casket is carried to the car for transport to the cemetery.

Cremation is a growing trend amongst Spaniards but, until recently, the Catholic Church was dead set against it. So it is still quite unusual to be cremated. Burial is the standard option.

People are buried in niches, a sort of dexion shelving system, horizontally and vertically ordered - the photo at the top left. The memorial stone that covers the access to the niche usually contains a picture of the person. Richer families buy a block of shelving set in a small mausoleum. Our local cemetery has recently installed a set of smaller shelves for people who want to inter the ashes of their friends and family in a dignified manner - thats the photo at top right.

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