(Penang News) Ordinary people are very taboo on the topic of “death”. Thinking of funeral parlors, coffins, and shrouds, they intuitively think it will be unlucky. However, the older generation of elders have a negative view of those who are engaged in the funeral industry. I have a strange vision and feel that people who engage in this industry will have bad luck.
Huang Laifa, a funeral service provider in Facai, said in an interview that most of the funeral providers 30 years ago were “coffin men” who wore slovenly clothes, had a cigarette in their mouths, and even old men who spoke foul language. Seniors.
The 58-year-old Huang Laifa said that looking back on his time in the funeral industry 30 years ago, he was a “coffin shop rat”. Simply put, he was like a staff member running the business, which is what we call it. “Salesman”, and their job scope is to wait for the “remains” in the hospital every day and solicit business from the family members of the deceased.
“Not everyone can accept the funeral industry. Furthermore, not every family can accept their children working in this industry.”
Huang Laifa, who was only in his early 20s at the time, insisted on joining the funeral industry despite his mother’s opposition. After all, he was dealing with dead people, so some of his friends were taboo about him. He even went to eat at his restaurant several times. Once the boss knew that he was a “coffin guy,” he was turned away.
After working alone in the funeral industry for many years and accumulating many years of experience, Huang Laifa opened a shop and became his own boss. At that time, the shop was called “Xin Zaifa”. In the later stage, there were many difficulties on the road to starting a business. In addition, business was not good, and he had to pay rent, workers’ fees, etc., so he had no choice but to close the store.
Provide one-stop service
It was not until 2021 that Huang Laifat re-entered the funeral industry and opened a shop again, which is now Fat Choy Funeral Service located in Kuantanlu, Penang Island.
When it comes to funeral work, many people are intimidated. Huang Laifa said that with the turning of the times, the funeral industry has been replaced by well-dressed undertakers from the original “coffin men” with sloppy clothes. Good wages have also attracted many young people to join the industry, and there are even professional ones. The funeral team serves the deceased and their families and is no longer the “coffin man” as the older generation said.
The local funeral industry gradually transformed in the 1990s. The biggest change after the transformation was the provision of one-stop services to help the families of the deceased take care of all the trivial matters. He pointed out that in the past, the family members of the deceased would first go to the master according to religion, and then arrange trivial matters such as coffins, paper bundles, and sheds after choosing a date. However, after the transformation, the funeral industry will make arrangements for the deceased according to the requirements of the family members. This made the family members feel much more relaxed.
He also said that although the transformed funeral industry has simplified many rituals and made it easier for family members to handle funerals, he believes that many traditional customs still need to be maintained.
It is no longer taboo to use coffins for burials. Providing coffin donation services is also a kind act that accumulates blessings. In order to promote diversified charity activities, the directors of Fat Choy Funeral Service and Huang Tiangong Ancestors have been actively promoting the coffin donation charity project for many years. Currently, they have received support from 35 kind-hearted people. We hope to draw on the power of more kind-hearted people. Help the poor to have a good death.
Huang Laifa said that a decent funeral is the final farewell to the deceased, allowing the deceased to go through the last journey of life safely and without regrets. However, some disadvantaged families who are helpless and poor cannot afford the funeral. Therefore, we decided to provide free posthumous services to those in need. From collecting the body, setting up a funeral, cremating, and placing the memorial tablet, all services are free of charge.
“Once we find that there are elderly people living alone or poor families who have such needs, as long as we make a phone call, we will immediately go to the scene to assist the deceased in the burial and organize the funeral for free.”
For more details, please call: 012-4184909 and 016-4398989 (Huang Laifa), Fat Choy Funeral Service, address: 83, Kuantan Road, 10150 Georgetown, Penang.