Professional Mourners

Part of the Human Comedy series
It is always sad to bid farewell to someone we like, love or admire. Funerals are among rare public occasions where attendees are allowed and in some cases, even expected to express some sort of poignant emotion. Unfortunately, not everyone is capable of expressing externally his or her emotions. Some are incapable of channeling their emotions in a dignified and controlled way. This is where "mourning" services are most needed.

In many Asian countries, it is quite popular for the family of the dead person to hire professionals to take care of the mourning and crying parts that are essential to any funeral. These services typically include attending, weeping and crying at funerals. Some may also include dramatic sobbing and beating of one’s chest. These paid mourners are essentially professional performers. 

In order to be a professional, one may be required to be certified. Some clients won’t accept anything less than a seasoned professional. This is due to the fact that in many cultures, weddings and funerals are considered to be the two most important moments in people's lives. In ancient times, there were instances of people willingly becoming slaves in exchange for money to cover funeral costs of their loved ones. For many people, funerals are serious business. Assigning a poorly trained rookie to perform a funeral’s sacred function is considered an insult.

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