Through a cultural analysis of the symbols of death - flesh, blood, bones, souls, time numbers, food and money - Chinese Death Rituals in Singapore throws light upon the Chinese perception of death and how they cope with its eventuality. In the seeming mass of religious rituals and beliefs, it suggests that there is an underlying logic to the rituals. This in turn leads Kiong to examine the interrelationship between death and the socioeconomic value system of China as a whole.
'The book is graced with more than a dozen photographs of funeral setups and rituals and it has a useful list of Chinese Characters. The fact it is the only monographic study in English on Chinese death rituals in a Chinese society makes it not only useful for specialists but suitable as well for use on courses on Chinese religion and ritual.' - Adam Yuet Chau, University of Oxford, Journal of Chinese Religions, 2009
'This highly readable book introduces readers to a fascinating aspect of Chinese Rituals in Singapore. The book is thoroughly researched, well written and clearly structured, and contains rich ethnographic data that bring to life a subject pertinent to every individual. The reader will gain a strong sense of the socio-cultural world that the Sinaporean Chinese negotiates, in all its richness and nuances.' - Lily Kong, National University of Singapore, Temenos, Nrdic Journal of Comparative Religion, Volume 43 No. 2
Asia today is one of the most dynamic regions of the world. The previously predominant image of ‘timeless peasants’ has given way to the image of fast-paced business people, mass consumerism and high-rise urban conglomerations. Yet much discourse remains entrenched in the polarities of East versus West’, ‘Tradition versus Change’. This series hopes to provide a forum for anthropological studies which break with such polarities. It will publish titles dealing with cosmopolitanism, cultural identity, representations, arts and performance. The complexities of urban Asia, its elites, its political rituals, and its families will also be explored.