Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Outdoor light on in broad daylight

An guaha måtai gi halom familia, na' fan mañila' todo i kandet sanhiyong.

(When there is a death in the family, turn on all the outdoor lights.)

Some families practice the tradition that when someone living in that home passes away, they turn on all the outdoor lights from the moment of death until after the burial.

Even during the daytime, the outdoor lights are kept on. Some families keep all the inside lights on, too, even at night when everyone wants to sleep.

It's a way of telling others in the neighborhood or passing by that there's a death in that household. Seeing all those lights lit up all day and all night draws attention and alerts everyone seeing it.

In fact, one could make a joke if you see a home with the outdoor lights accidentally left on in broad daylight by asking, "Kao guaha måtai-miyo?" "Do you have a death (in the family)?" Just know in advance, though, that, depending on the sense of humor of the people involved, a family could be offended by such a remark if, in fact, there were no death.

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