Some South Korean individuals are not ready for loss of life to expertise their very own funerals. In a development that’s selecting up tempo quick, particularly within the city areas, younger individuals are opting to take part in their very own mock funerals the place they lie inside an enclosed coffin and comply with all the standard rites of a funeral in hopes of regaining an appreciation for all times.

| The New York Times

South Korea has been battling rising suicide charges for years. According to Statistics Korea, the main reason for loss of life amongst individuals between the ages of 10 and 39 is suicide. Academic strain, the incessant rat race of chasing a profitable profession, and a growingly remoted life-style are solely a number of the the explanation why younger individuals within the nation select the acute manner out when hopelessness settles in. On the opposite hand, the speed of loss of life by suicide can be very excessive (50.3 in each 100,000 individuals) amongst South Korea’s aged inhabitants. Senior residents are alienated within the fast-paced trendy society with little or no financial and social help. Unable to fend for themselves each materialistically and emotionally, the aged inhabitants of the nation additionally considers suicide as the final word aid.

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| OECD Factbook

Hyowon Healing Center in Seoul has been battling this rising despair for all times by means of its distinctive, albeit controversial methodology. The firm began working in 2012, providing individuals an opportunity to expertise a simulated setting of their very own loss of life. Jeong Yong Mun, the top of the middle, acknowledged that he felt heartened when he noticed individuals reconcile at a relative’s funeral but in addition felt unhappy that they waited for too lengthy.

We don’t have without end…That’s why I believe this expertise is so vital – we are able to apologize and reconcile sooner and reside the remainder of our lives fortunately.

— Jeong Yong Mun

So what occurs at these mock funerals that may probably flip a suicidal individual’s ideas round?

After all of the members are led right into a room, an tutorial lecture and video is performed for them. Each individual clicks a funeral portrait, after which they’re taken on a stroll, whereas donned in shrouds, to the primary corridor the place the funeral will happen. The dimly lit corridor is adorned with chrysanthemums, the place they sit beside their caskets, writing after which studying out their final testaments. Finally, they modify into burial shrouds and lay within the coffin.

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A participant getting her funeral portrait clicked | Heo Ran/Reuters

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A participant studying out her remaining testomony

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A participant studying out her final testomony

A grim-looking man, who acts because the envoy from the opposite world, “hammers” the lids closed (Not really. The lid stays open as the person kilos on it just a few occasions). The members spent 10 minutes within the darkness contained in the enclosed field. Recalling their expertise in a weblog, a participant described these ten minutes saying, “There was not a single ray of light coming in, and how I cried in the dark, suffocating coffin!

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Participants mendacity within the enclosed coffin | The New York Times

At the tip of the expertise, Jeong proclaims to the members, “Now, you have shed your old self. You are reborn to have a fresh start!” As the individuals within the room readjust after the ten minutes of deathly silence, many appear to achieve a newfound outlook towards life.

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The New York Times

A 75-year-old participant named Choi Jae Hee mirrored positively on the entire expertise. “Once you become conscious of death and experience it, you undertake a new approach to life,” she concluded. University scholar Choi Jin Kyu gathered an identical mindset from the funeral, lastly letting go of the tendency to take a look at everybody as his competitors. The 28-year-old wished to start out his personal enterprise moderately than go down a aggressive job market path.

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Participants laughing and clicking selfies with their coffins | The New York Times

But in keeping with Jeong, generally just a few members appear to really feel somewhat too comfy contained in the coffin. He mentioned he retains an eye fixed out for such morbid souls, who might draw a destructive impact from the funeral.

There is a variety of criticism round this mission in Seoul, with many contemplating it a spectacle with short-lived results. Song Hun, a post-graduate scholar, voiced her concern saying, “Although people who pretend to die may have an appreciative attitude towards life, I think it will be only for a little while, and it cannot be sustained for a long period of time. It’s just a small event, not healing.” Mrs. Emma, who misplaced her sister to suicide, felt that this mission was nothing however shameful for misdirecting the feelings surrounding suicide.—“People think of suicide not because they appreciate life but because they are tired of living.”

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A TV Commercial for Hyowon Healing Center

Regardless, over 25,000 members had already joined this funeral mission by 2019, with most of them reporting a optimistic change of their mindset. Talking about his finish purpose with this residing funeral mission, Jeong mentioned, “I wish to let individuals know that they matter and that another person can be so unhappy in the event that they had been gone…Happiness is within the current.



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