Weird Indonesian Tradition Scares People To Death

Do you love your family? Parents, grandparents? They are the best people in our lives who always care of us and are ready to stretch their hands in any situation. But we do realize that they will be gone sooner or later. Then we will have to bury them and will never see them again. This is why family photos are taken on every occasion – just to save the memories.
However, Toraja people in Indonesia are not really overwhelmed with it like we do. Death is not the reason for them to say ‘goodbye’ to their beloved family members as they meet every three years and spend some nice time together again.

Yep, these crazy people dig out dead family members to wash the corpse, change their clothes, and take some insane selfies and family photos with them. They call it ‘love’. Moreover, people share those in social networks.

Why do they do that? They believe the soul never dies, and the body is just a temporary home for it. A funeral for them is nothing more than a ceremony of showing off the respect to the body. This is why they save money for entire lives for their funerals. But if somebody dies and there is not enough cash to bury them – friends can help collecting some cash or there is another option: they mummify the body and keep it like that to commit it to the earth in two-three years.

However, every three years it will be dug out. The corpses are removed from their tombs, groomed, and dressed in new outfits. They smell mildew but the odor is not foul. Te coffin will be fixed and some new decoration added. After that, entire family poses for a huge contest, where judges choose a dead man or woman who is dressed the best way possible.


It is not only the clothes people bring to the graveyard. They buy cosmetics, perfume, various accessories to please the souls of the dead. Some of them wear stylish sunglasses and jeans; others delicately beaded white satin dresses and bejeweled earrings. Do not forget about hats and gloves, which are also popular.

Corpses with lit cigarettes in their mouths are not a rare thing here too. If grandpa is dead, it does not mean his habits have to be ignored. This is why the try to act as if their relatives are still alive. Locals say: “It’s like when you come home for Christmas, it’s that feeling of joy meeting someone you haven’t seen for a long time. A lot of people would consider a graveyard a scary place. Here it is just like your parents’ home. There is no feeling of being scared.”

During the time of the ritual people alive are all mixed with the deadmen. This is why it seems like they are everywhere. Relatives don’t just take them home, but can also please them by going out together. Football matches with corpses in the tribunes are not rare here too.
While this seems insane for us, it is just a tradition for Toraja people, that helps them avoid fear of death.

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