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MORTUARY RITES IN COVID-19: MOURNING & BURIAL RITES OF MIGRANTS IN NORTHERN PUNJAB
Corresponding Author(s) : Aneela Sultana
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,
Vol. 9 No. 3 (2021): May
Purpose of the study: This study aims to highlight how death serves as a central feature of social ties among the natives of Northern Punjab. Death is a great leveller and one of the most curious aspects of human cognition. Bereavement follows the terminal rites de passage; the transition of the deceased from this world to the other world.
Methodology: By using an inductive approach, the ethnographic account of the most significant rite of passage; death was gathered. The primary data is based on case-based narratives and empirical findings gathered during in-depth interviews and participant observation at the locale. A total of thirteen cases of death migrants are discussed in this paper.
Main Findings: The findings reveal the social pressures the family of the deceased encountered in the pre and post-death phase both in the country of origin and in the country of destination, how horrors of COVID-19 infection kept the entire bereaved families at a halt to decide their funerary rituals, pandemic’s effect on the body’s postmortem clearance and death certificate, arrangement for the morgue and grave while the decision of burial was in process, familial politics engaged in decision making, the journey back to the native soil, the burial, mourning, condolence and bereavement rituals of Potohar.
Applications of this study: This paper solely focuses on the death rituals of migrants from the Northern Punjab region in COVID-19. The study provides an understanding of the religio-cultural rituals and their transformation in the global pandemic.
Novelty/Originality of this study: The researcher has prepared an account of the death rituals based on the close observations and in-depth insights during the mortuary rites of migrants who expired during the pandemic COVID-19 during doctoral research. No such research has been carried out in Potohar (Northern Punjab) in this context.
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