WATCH: Family’s graveside birthday bash has tongues wagging
People grieve and remember their deceased loved ones in different ways.
Some choose to bring flowers; the more traditional might bring along some home-brewed traditional beer and some snuff to appease the ancestors.
But one family’s way of commemorating their late father has got tongues wagging.
In a video posted on social media‚ the Segano family was seen having a birthday party at the gravesite of their late relative earlier this month.
In the nearly three-minute long video‚ viewed over 83‚000 times‚ plates of snacks‚ brown bags of fried chicken meals‚ pizza‚ drinks and a large cake are seen placed on the tombstone of their late relative along with three candles.
The family start off their celebration by singing a gospel song‚ followed by a short prayer.
“We’ve come to you Dad to say happy birthday‚” the apparent matriarch of the family says amid her prayer.
“We still miss you and we will continue to love you always. We will never forget you.”
Followed by a chorus of “Amens” the family bursts into song – this time singing “Happy birthday to you.”
One of the children‚ seated on the tombstone along with some of the adults‚ then blows on a party horn blower as others shout “Hooray”.
The Segano family were seemingly fresh in their grieving as the engraving on the tomb stone showed that Mr Segano had died in April.
After seeing people question the uncommon practice of the family‚ one of the relatives took to Facebook to respond.
“Yah its because he has done good things in the family.... he was a great‚ kind‚ loving and peaceful man and where ever he is‚ he is happy that we still remember him and we still love him.....that is called a really love ......[sic]‚” said Hanny Segano Makgauta.
She hit out at critics.
“All the things we do we do it because of love he gave us and the love we gave him.......u will never understand because u never being loved like this or u never love someone like this ... And we will keep do this no matter what happens or what people say out here .... And even yesterday we were visiting him to celebrate father's day‚” she wrote.
“This family is so cute indeed they really love each other‚ its ok let the old man rest in peace... where ever he is so proud to have family like this (sic)‚” Liacec Ceci Lia Minorah said on Facebook.
She acknowledged that while it may not be cultural‚ it was their way of grieving.
Another Facebook user‚ Charlene Xulu‚ said the family’s actions did not represent those of an African family in grieving.
“All cultures respects the dead!!allow them to Rest In Peace if ever we have some ceremonies we do them at home.. going the grave it's when you do communications (mphahlo) and introduce yourself and that's it!! [sic]”.
Nokuthula Thuli Sibiya had a different view. “Jokes aside‚ what worries me children are involved here who could psychologically struggle should they lose a loved one (parent) why are adults getting children on this? I preferably would rather nurture the future more than the life that has ended. There's a way and manner to remember your lost loved ones‚” she said.