Bearit (bearit) wrote in little_details,

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Chinese Burial/Cremation Customs

Setting: a fantasy-like Ancient China. To be specific, I'm writing a fanfic for Jade Empire, if it helps clarify any.

I Googled around for "Chinese burial customs" and "Chinese funeral customs" and "Chinese cremation customs" and "multiple burials" and variations thereof. I'm not getting anything that can really help with what I need specifically.

The premise: an entire village is wiped out, and there are only three survivors, two of which run off to go on their own little adventure. They aren't important. The one who stays behind is important. Now, everyone in the village is dead, and she feels like they deserve the proper rites of burial/cremation. I know in movies and literature, in cases like these the people who stumble on a wiped-out village would just cremate everyone in one communal fire, but according to my research, the Chinese don't practice cremation... not as often as they do with just burying someone.

So my question is: in a situation where everybody in the village is killed, how are the bodies treated by someone who wants to give them a respectable burial and/or cremation? Would it be reasonable that, since she is a student of a martial arts school, she would cremate all the villagers, but since she was friends with her classmates, and they were the ones fighting to the death to protect the village, she would bury them? In other words, cremate most, except for her friends?

Or, would she not even bother, based on customs and culture?

Thanks, everyone.
Tags: china: history, ~funerals

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