Funeral etiquette and safety tips for families attending Lee Kuan Yew's State Funeral Procession and Service
Planning to attend Lee Kuan Yew's State Funeral Procession and Service with the family? Then remember these important funeral etiquette and safety tips.
On Sunday, 29 March 2015, Singaporean are bidding a final farewell to their country’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away on March 23.
Starting at 12.30pm, the State Funeral Procession will travel a distance of 15.4km from the Parliament House to the University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore, where the funeral service will be held from 2pm to 5.15pm.
Singaporeans are welcome to witness the procession which will cover North Bridge Road, Shenton Way, Cantonment Road, Queensway and Clementi Road. See map below for route details:
If you are planning to pay your respects and bringing the entire family along, here are some important tips on funeral etiquette and safety to keep in mind:
- Think twice before bringing the kids (especially very young ones) or even the elderly along. Toddlers could ruin the solemnity of a funeral, while the heightened emotional experience might be detrimental to an elderly person’s health.
- Dress appropriately. Some have debated whether to wear black or white, but at the end of the day, it’s about choosing something modest and fitting for the occasion.
- As you’ll be standing for a long period under the sun, wear comfortable shoes and light clothes.
- It’s advisable to bring as few items as possible as there will be a big crowd and little space for anyone to maneuver.
- Leave the toys, tablets and other kiddie paraphernalia you use to help keep your child quiet. If you know your kid won’t be able to stay still and keep silent, best to leave him/her at home.
- Pack water, extra shirt, small towel, umbrella – anything that will help keep you and the family comfortable under the sun.
- Give your kid a little a history lesson about Lee Kuan Yew. Explain to him/her why Mr. Lee is important enough for you to pay your respects to. That way, your kid will appreciate the reason why you’re bringing them along and will try to be in his/her best behaviour.
- Consider taking public transportation instead of bringing a car as several roads will be closed and heavy traffic is expected.
- Arrive on time. If you are late, stay outside or stand at the edge of the crowd. Do not try to push or squeeze your way in. If crowds make you or your child uncomfortable, it’s best to stay near the back or on the sides in case anyone in the family feels faint during the service and would need fresh air.
- Observe silence. It’s the best way to show your respect.
- Sit or stand quietly during the service. Do not walk around or chat with companions.
- Be kind with your words. This is not the time to air your personal political opinions.
- It’s okay to be emotional, but sob softly and don’t bawl so that you help preserve the solemnity of the occasion for others.
- Be mindful of your personal belongings, especially since it’s going to be crowded.
- Compose your prayer before you see the casket and make it as short as possible so you move the line along quickly.
- Offer help, water and snacks to those who need it.
- It’s considered rude to leave in the middle of the funeral service so if you plan to attend, do so from start to finish.
- In case your child gets antsy or throws a fit during the procession or funeral service, then it’s only understandable – and polite – to walk away.
- Refrain from turning the occasion into a “selfie” event. Taking a photo for remembrance is acceptable; but taking several selfies or groufies with the family and busying yourself by sending the photos via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter will seriously dampen the mood of the occasion and the people around you.
- Leave quietly after the funeral.
- Go straight home as you and your family will be exhausted from witnessing the event – plus, your children will need their rest to prepare for school next day.
Do you have any funeral etiquette and safety tips to share for families attending the State Funeral Procession and Service? Share them in our Comment Box below.