Police probe practice of throwing money at funeral

Police in Thuan Phu Commune of Dong Phu District in the southern province of Binh Phuoc are probing an incident when relatives of a dead person threw banknotes on the streets where the funeral procession passed through, all the way from the house to the cemetery.

At 8am on July 2, Tran Van Hung’s family organized the funeral of his son and relatives of the dead threw VND1,000 and VND5,000 banknotes along a 15 kilometer stretch of road from his residence to the cemetery. 

Crowds of people and children caused a near stampede to get hold of the notes, ignoring vehicular traffic on the road.

Nguyen Huy Phong, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee of Binh Phuoc Province, said he has asked the Police Department, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the province and the Central Bank to probe the practice of throwing real banknotes on the street every time a funeral procession leaves the residence of a dead person.

Vietnamese people traditionally throw joss paper and prayer money (to provide the deceased with sufficient income in their afterlife). This outdated and primitive custom should now be abolished.

A local police officer said that throwing real money on the street is illegal as per the law. Funerals should be now organised sans this practice in future so as to discourage waste and avoid a decadent custom.

By Ng. Viet - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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