From the Toronto Star.
Funeral law fails ethnic groups
Rigid regulations undermine immigrants' freedom to practise final rites, study finds
Oct 27, 2007 04:30 AM
Death may be the final frontier when it comes to testing the limits of multicultural accommodation in Ontario.
Rigid provincial and municipal regulations regarding funerals and burials, created primarily to accommodate western Judeo-Christian customs, are forcing faith communities to adjust to the law rather than have the freedom to practise their final rites, according to a new study from Ryerson University.
Note - This writer is biased. Noticed how she wrote that "municipal regulations regarding funerals and burials, created primarily to accommodate western Judeo-Christian customs." Such a statement is just stupid. To accommodate something, something else must exist before it. Since Canada was founded on western Judeo-Christian customs our municipal regulations regarding funerals and burials are not accommodating anyone since Canada did not exist as a nation before the founding, settler people of Europe arrived. It is the customs of the founding peoples that was established in the land. Hindus and other non-Christian religions as well as other non-Europeans are not founding people. They are the ones seeking accommodation in a land they chose to come to after the fact. This Star writer wants the reader to think that our laws are bigoted since one group of people is being accommodated and another is not as though everyone arrived in Canada at the same time, Hindus and all. Judging by the Star writer's name I would say that she is Hindu herself and is using this story as a political tool to effect change in our laws to accommodate her and her religion.
Hindus, for example, face a problem with spreading of ashes after cremation. According to custom, ashes should be placed in a moving body of water, but conservation authorities say that's a potential hazard to ecosystems and isn't allowed.
"Everything is geared to the Christian tradition, but the rules are outdated. They have to change because the demographics have changed," says Pundit Roopnauth Sharma, of the Shri Ram Mandir temple in Mississauga.
Note - There was a problem with Hindus before with funerary rites. Residents downstream of the Credit River in Mississauga were finding packaged Hindu deity and flower petals washing ashore. It turned out Hindus were dumping the ashes of their deceased into the river along with other gifts that go along with the ceremony.
He has been talking with the province for three years to get clarity on where and how Hindus can dispose of cremated ashes. Meanwhile, his temple has an agreement with a small boat rental agency to ferry grieving parishioners out into Lake Ontario, where they can deposit their loved one's ashes.
For Muslims in the GTA, the customary ghusl (bathing) and shrouding of the deceased typically takes place in a mosque.
According to Muslim tradition, burial should take place within 24 hours of death. But that's not always possible because of cemetery rules, as well as bureaucratic and legal requirements, such as the need to obtain a death certificate or in some cases perform an autopsy – a practice prohibited under Islam.
Although Muslims make up about 10 per cent of the GTA's population, they have yet to establish their own cemetery because of prohibitive land costs, says Abdul Hai Patel, of the Islamic Council of Imams.
Prohibitive land costs? Where do they get the money to build all those mosques?
There is room to accommodate funeral rites but the depositing of ashes in Canadian rivers and streams is asking for too much. Our laws should not change and any Hindu caught breaking the law should be fined.
The Ganges River in India is the traditional and spiritual river where Hindus performed this task and ex-pat Hindu Indians would fly the ashes back there to perform this rite but this is costly. It seems Hindus are willing to break with tradition and perform funeral ceremonies locally to save a few bucks. I also suspect there is a political motive behind their desire to alter our burial laws to make Canada more Indian. This is Canada. This is not India. Asking to deposit the ashes of deceased loved ones into Canadian rivers and streams is not acceptable. You can always fly the ashes back to India. That's just part of the cost of moving to Canada. If you really respected this country then you would do it.
This is why Hindus in Canada support unfettered mass immigration. This allows a constant stream of Hindus into Canada thus swelling the population that already lives here. The larger number could effect political change to meet their Indo-centric demands. Canada: it was a lovely country we had once.