Photographer's Note

"Look over there," our guide exlaimed as he pointed out two wooden coffins in front of a house, "that surely is a very lucky home."


It is customary for elderly Hmong people to have their coffins ready and on display in front of their house, right next to it or sometimes in the back of their garden. Two wooden coffins in front of a house near Lung Phin. They indicate that both the family's grandparents are still alive. Hence, a happy home.

As long as you can see your coffin, it means you haven't died yet!

PS: The shoes are symbolic as well. They are yet another sign of the family's blessings. Such a lucky home!


Strange custom, we thought. I don't think our (grand)parents would appreciate being confronted with their own mortality every day. But I do see the point of the Hmong:

we are all going to be dirt in the ground,
so let's enjoy life, while it lasts,
that's why we were born.

Count your blessings!

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2903 W: 35 N: 6175] (32462)
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