Day of the living dead

14:28, April 02, 2010      

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There's probably not a human being alive who hasn't fantasized about attending his or her own funeral, and it's a yearning that a 76-year-old man in Lixiang village, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province brought to life on Monday.

Followed by his family, relatives and friends dressed in traditional mourning white and standing up through the sun roof of a red Buick, the "deceased," Li Niugen waved to amused, shocked and puzzled onlookers who saw the funeral procession.

"I've lived for a long time and now have finally seen a funeral for a living person," said an 85-year-old woman surnamed Li as the group passed by her home. "That man has a good attitude."

Another onlooker couldn't believe it. "Why would anyone hold a funeral for themselves?" one man asked.

Li, who has six daughters (one adopted), said he came up with the idea as a gesture for them and their life-long devotion to him. "All my daughters and their husbands have been very good to me and it makes me happy to see them hold a funeral for me. I don't want it to be actually so extravagant when I really die. I won't be around to see what they do then and I don't want to make too much trouble for them."

A neighbor of Li's said it made sense to him. "It's good for children to do things that make the old people happy while they are still alive. After people die they won't know what you did, even if you built a luxurious tomb or held an extravagant banquet."

Source: Jiangnan City Daily


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