Archive for internal racism

Report back from visiting Family

I felt frequently frustrated visiting my family last weekend for my grandmother/popo‘s funeral. My relatives typically talk about inanely boring things and this was barely any exception. It’s strange having to put on my masculine face for hours and hours on end. I felt like snapping at my brother numerous times (and did not always restrain myself) during the viewing ceremony of popo‘s body. It disturbed me to play the role of “grandson” of a woman that i did not know very well.

Another part of what grated on my mind was the inherent sexism of the ceremony. We sometimes stood and sometimes kneeled in a particular order before the two altars in the funeral home based on gender and relationship to my popo, the mother of my mother.


D aughters-in-Law (lined up beside their respective husbands)


Grandsons (by sons)

Grandsons (by daughters)

Granddaughters (by sons)

Granddaughters (by daughters)

There was also something sexist about the bowing. All people who had come to pay their respects had to bow to the altar three times, bow once to the men, walk around to where the body is (behind the main altar) and then bow once to the women and once more to the men.

This was mostly frustrating for me because my brother was clearly lost about the order of things taking place and i felt that i had to play the role of the responsible, oldest son when in fact i was neither the oldest nor the son. I felt an obligation to family to help things move along smoothly. Which basically meant that i did what i was told. The one upshot of my brother not being mentally organized is that because he didn’t quite know where to stand, we and my cousin who is a woman and daughter of a one of my grandmother’s sons messed up the order a bit, which gave me some bit of satisfaction. Unfortunately, nobody cared enough about where the three of us were to start anything since we were all in the back anyway (my mother is the only daughter to have children).

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