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June 2024

Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 1993 Nov; 43(11): 381-6.

["When the soul is depleted, the body dies". Dying and death on the island Nias/Indonesia]

Klasen H.

Klinik für Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel.

In our society death and dying are largely displaced from everyday experiences. Since old rites and traditions seem antiquated and new behavioral patterns haven't yet developed, interaction with dying persons is ruled by helplessness and speechlessness. This article describes death and dying on the islands of Nias/Indonesia, where a big celebration is held before someone is dying. Relatives keep close physical contact to the dying person. Rites and Customs finally help the bereaved to structure their time of mourning and to express their grief in a socially accepted way. Thus the adat (custom, tradition) is not only supporting the dying person, but also helps the survivors to cope with their loss.

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