The event is a long-standing tradition among one Indonesian tribe and is known as Ma'nene. The well-documented actions are part of the traditions of the Toraja Tribe who live in South Sulawesi.
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Ma'nene is like a celebration for passed loved ones where families get together and exhume their dead to give them a bit of sprucing up.
They take the bodies of those passed and dress them up in fancy clothes and even give them a cigarette if that's their thing. Then, they take pictures with the corpses.
While this sounds a bit macabre, the sentiment behind the tradition is rather sweet. Many Torajans believe that the souls of dead relatives stay in their houses once they have passed on. For Torajans, this means that the souls get treated just like any family member. So, they get clothes, food and cigarettes just like any other grandparent, parent, aunt or cousin.
Once family members pass, Torajans are also known to keep the bodies of their loved ones in their houses for weeks at a time, all while pretending they never died. They talk to them and even feed them before having lavish funerals sometimes months later.
This is because Torajans believe thatdeath is just one more step in a person's journey throughout the universe as a whole. That's pretty deep.
One woman spoke to National Geographic back in 2016 saying:
My mother died suddenly, so we aren't ready yet to let her go. I can't accept burying her too quickly.
Every culture has a different way of handling grief and saying goodbye to their family members. And, even if the Torajans are a bit more graphic with their grieving, at least we can understand the sentiment.