Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fake guests: One wedding and two funerals

Back in August, Tyler Cowen wrote this post about a firm in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, that does roaring business renting out wedding guests.

Yesterday, he has another curious post about professional mourners who "wail, scream and create the anguished sorrow befitting a proper funeral." In Taiwan!

Recently, I came to know of the practice of hiring professional mourners in some parts of southern Tamil Nadu. Apparently, a group of these professionals shows up at the house where the dead person lies 'in state' (so to speak), and perform their wailing and screaming act. If the grieving family can afford it, they may even hire a set of loud speakers that allow the mourners show off their talents!


  1. Anonymous said...

    In Rajasthan, professional weepers are called rudaalis. In fact, they were a subject of a Hindi film of the same name.

  2. Abi said...

    Hi Ashok, Thanks for that information.