When funerals occur, my family and I always show up at the marae. Although this is a very sad occasion, we need to celebrate the life of whoever passed away. We can celebrate this through food.
We have lots of food at funerals because it’s a good way to honour someones life. We have hangi, which usually has kumara, wild pig and sometimes ham in it. Before we eat, we say grace. We also have our food in any order (not a sequence).
I always start with the peaches. They are a nice appetizer for me. Then I move onto the chicken and potatoes. Finally, I have the salad that my Aunty George has prepared earlier. There are two rules while eating. Make sure you have enough and to not have fizzy drinks until after you’ve eaten.
With over 60 people attending these services, someone always has to do the dishes. Being the youngest in the family, I always have to wash and dry the dishes. I don’t think that they fully understand the meaning and purpose of the dishwasher!
When someone passes away in our family, we are always willing to help. Whether it’s by doing the dishes, sweeping, making beds, or just comforting the family, it all is a big help to them.
Although this is a very sad and emotional time for the family, food is a great way to honour a life.