Suicide is the fourth most common cause of death here in South Korea, and along with Japan it’s obviously a huge social problem. So when the government and businesses get serious about it that’s a good thing, but I’m not really sold on the practice of, ahem — “mock funerals”:
“Before climbing into their caskets, they watched inspirational videos of their compatriots, including cancer sufferers and people with disabilities, who had overcome adversity.
In silence, they lay inside the caskets, each clutching their own photograph. After a man dressed in black – representing the Angel of Darkness – closed the lids, they were confined for 10 minutes, supposedly to ponder their simulated departure into the hereafter.
Despite its macabre overtones, the exercise is designed to emphasise the value of living, according to Jeong Yong-mun, a former funeral director who pioneered the therapy at the Hyowon Healing Centre in Seoul.
When the visibly shaken employees emerged from their coffins, Jeong told them: ‘You have seen what death feels like, you are alive, and you must fight!'”
Yeah, no thank you. Then again, I’m the type of loner jerk who, in a former life, always resented the “mandatory fun time” corporate and educational America likes to hold once or twice a year in a lame attempt to “bond” with a boss or supervisor whom literally nobody likes.
Also, would my imaginary friends show up to my imaginary funeral? Probably not, those selfish bastards.