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Korean Cultural Consideration of Death and Dying - Essay Example

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Korean Cultural Consideration of Death and Dying

Most cultures hold the belief that the dying process is never rosy. This being the case, people should be aware that individuals do not need to undergo a lot of pain and suffering only due to cultural beliefs. The paper will explore Korean cultural approaches to death and dying. In particular, the paper will explain unique concepts with regard to the culture in relation to death and dying. It will also look at how the Korean Culture presents death and dying rituals, and the similarities and differences between that culture and American culture. Korean Approaches to death and dying The Asian Health Support Service (2004) notes that customs pertaining to death and dying are much dependent on a person’s age, religion, marital status, manner of death, status in the society and area of residence. These factors greatly affect the manner in which the Koreans perceive death and dying. They perform certain cultural rituals as a way of giving the bereaved an opportunity to abide by the set obligations of the deceased person (Asian Health Support Service). The Koreans have very strong family ties especially when one of the family members is sick. In this case, when one is admitted to the hospital, he receives many visitors who provide them with encouragement and consolation. At the time of being in the hospital, the patient is expected to have somebody by his or her side until the patient is ready to be discharged. In case the condition of the patient gets worse, the community prefers that the patient is discharged before his death so that he/she can be taken back home alive. It is also worth noting that the culture does not prefer a patient being admitted in a nursing home for care (Schwartz, 1997). This is because traditionally, the culture reveres dying at home so as to avoid the dead transforming into a kaekkwi (evil spirit). In this respect, members of the family make every attempt to ensure that any sick person is taken back home before he/she dies irrespective of whether or not the patient is receiving treatment in hospital. The Korean people believe that it is a misfortune to bring a dying patient’s body home. However, doing so before his/her death is a sign of respect, as noted by the Asian Health Support Services (2004). For a long time, this belief was so engraved in the people’s culture to an extent that disobeying it was disrespectful to the deceased and the bereaved family. It is, however, worth noting that within the contemporary setting, the custom is dying off. The Asian Health Support Services (2004) notes that the Koreans’ way of thinking and cultural beliefs are changing drastically, and many hospitals in Korea have rooms established to shelter bereaved families. Some rooms are also specially established for holding funerals for the grieving families. This is one way by which the Korean government and hospitals are ensuring that cultural beliefs of the people do not lead to preventable deaths. The patients in this respect continue receiving specialized treatment up to the time of death. Koreans Present Death and Dying Rituals Koreans present their death rituals in a unique way in line with their culture and customs. Crying and wailing is also a part of the death rituals among the Korean people (Kim & Loyola University Chicago, 2008). When one dies, family members flock the home of the deceased crying to ...Show more

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Korean Cultural Consideration of Death and Dying Name Institution Korean Cultural Consideration of Death and Dying Introduction Death and dying is considered a universal part of human experience across the globe (Dennis, 2009). Human beings have different beliefs, practices and feelings that vary widely across diverse cultures and religions…
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