I attended Jacques' funeral this morning, or at least the first part of it! Chris Nissen funerals rarely run to time and this one was massive so there was no way it would stick to time. I've never seen so many Rastas in one place and they just kept coming long after the cortège should have moved from the house to the marquee. By the time the cortège did move I had a banging headache from the 'dagga' (pot) so started to excuse myself. I don't do drugs but smoked so much dagga vicariously that I had to drive carefully on my way home!
Rasta culture is very different to my own but I do enjoy certain aspects of it. I like the respectfulness of greetings (used to love that in Sukuma & Shona cultures too) and the fact one can't just say "Hi" and move on but rather you have to enter a whole ritual (the French have a similar thing which is great). I also like the way the Rastas look after their own, a lot of time effort and expense was put into this funeral but the Rastas would have it no other way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an apologist for Rastafarianism and I know there is much wrong with it! However, it's good to celebrate the good bits of any culture.
The funeral gathering outside the house was almost party like with music, singing, flag waving, smoking dagga and friends meeting up for a big event. It was quite amazing to see such a gathering of people and such a diverse crowd with some music folk from Cape Town paying their respects.
I was asked to bring a camera and take some photos, but I felt very uncomfortable doing so. However, here are a few of the funeral.
The crowd gathering outside Jacques house
The cortège moves off (the haze is dagga smoke)
Chris Nissen with Dina and the minister due to conduct the funeral. You know it's a big occassion if Chris attends