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Colby College

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Viet Nam: National Development and Globalization


Hue, Vietnam is home to some of the most elaborate funeral and burial practices in the country. These practices ground and reinforce a plethora of beliefs and customs surrounding ancestor veneration and the communion of spirits. This paper will explore the effects of modernization, increased household incomes, and lack of burial space due to urban growth on the process and corresponding spirituality of the funeral and burial. A series of structured and semi-structured personal interviews with interested citizens and religious leaders alike comprise the majority of the data. Ultimately, this paper will show that while traditional funerals and burials are still considered by most to be a deeply important spiritual rite that ties families and communities together, the loss of burial space will require need for continued adaptation and change in the future.


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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