Thursday, September 16, 2010

South Korea Has Coffin Academies?

This is just weird and creepy.  South Korea has the highest suicide rate in the developed world, and I just do not see how participating in something like this can help anyone who suffers from depression or suicidal thoughts.

Al Jazeera has the report:
In an attempt to improve and find a meaning to their lives some South Koreans have taken the unusual step of going to the grave.
At South Korea's coffin-academy people come to die, in order to learn how to live.
The people remain inside coffins for a total of ten minutes. And the funeral director says, it is in these quiet moments, that he has seen lives transformed.
Many say the near-death experiences which they term 'well-dying' are the best way to achieve long lasting inner peace.
Al Jazeera's Steve Chao reports from Daejeon in South Korea.

What the heck is a thirteen year old girl doing there participating in a living funeral?  Cultural differences be damned, this is NOT healthy.


Tiffani said...

Eh, I don't know that I agree with you. My mom's death when I was 14 made me confront death in a way MUCH deeper than this. Was it 'healthy' - in the sense that it it boosted my spirits or made me celebrate my childhood? No. But it's one of the most important things that ever happened to me, and in many ways I'm grateful that it did because of who I've become since then.

You don't know the girl's history. Maybe she had a family member die. Maybe she was participating in reckless, self-destructive behavior. Maybe she actually tried to kill herself. Maybe the best thing she could have done was to have a wake-up call that her life is finite and she needs to be present in every moment of it. Thinking about how you want to be remembered and laying in a dark box for 10 minutes isn't the most traumatic thing in the world, by a long shot.

The Waygook said...

Good point. I can see how for some who have suffered traumatic events in their lives, this could be considered a therapeutic experience.

I still think making a 13 year old girl write her last testament and then sticking her in a wooden coffin is in no way acceptable. How can a 13 year old child be expected to emotionally process a simulated death.

I think a child who has experienced trauma would be better served being sent to a fun summer camp to make friends or be signed up for some music or art lessons. Figure out ways to build more connections with the world, instead of simulating what it would be like to sever them all.

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