My Talk With Raymond

Lizzy Miles from Death Cafe Columbus and Megan Mooney from Death Cafe St. Joe recently visited Hong Kong to take part in the International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society presenting on Death Cafe. This coincided with the first ever Death Cafe in Hong Kong hosted by Ms. Pearl Tse, Ms. Carmen Yau, & Dr. Andy Ho.

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I went to Starbucks the other morning, my daily ritual, and started talking to a local named Raymond. I had taken some photos and asked him what they meant. We had a wonderful talk about death and dying and I told him all about the Death Café. He was very excited to hear about this movement and that there was one starting in Hong Kong. When we started talking about death, he told me about the Chinese cultural beliefs about this subject. He stated that talking about death is very much taboo in China. However, he said that the younger generation is changing this and so is the elderly population. He explained to me that the elderly population is getting in touch with their spiritual beliefs and because of this, they want to talk about death. Raymond stated that he wants to talk about death because he knows his parents, his friends, and that he will also die one day. However, he said that he doesn’t talk about death in front of his parents because they get very angry at him. Raymond is hoping that the “taboo” of talking about death in China will start to go away. China is very superstitious and I think that plays into the taboo of talking about death; like Jon says “there is that superstition that if you talk about death, that you invite it closer.” However, we all know that this is not true and Raymond agreed with me.