A few times a week I buy myself a Straits Times, the leading Singapore daily newspaper. To keep up with what is going on in Singapore, for the week agenda and for trending topics.
Compared to dutch newspapers like the NRC or De Volkskrant, the Straits Times has more of a small-town-feel.
Still informative, though, for an expat like myself...
In the beginning of september, the Straits Times came with a reportage that surprised and impressed me very much.
It was called 'Last Outfits' and showed pictures of and interviews with people on the outfit that they want to wear at their funeral.
A very interesting article, with great pictures and interviews. What struck me was the variety of people and outfits AND some daring choices. Portrayed were e.g. a naturist/nudist (logically with a naked picture), a transgender and a young woman with terminal cancer. Very unorthodox and openminded for Singapore, in my humble opinion.
Being intrigued and impressed I did a bit of reasearch about the 'Last Outfits'-article and learned the following:
The project is an initiative of the Lien Foundation, a philantropical organisation.
This organisation does many things, and one of their goals is to take away the stigma that there is on talking and thinking about death. They want people to start 'die-logues'. And they also want better care for the dying.
The "Last Outfits for the Last Act'-project is part of their campagnes. The Lien Foundation asked the Straits Times to have 8 of their photographers photograph 23 people. It was not easy to find people who were willing to talk about their last outfit and to be photographed in it, because many people are superstitious. Fortunately these 23 people were brave and willing.
The lady with terminal cancer (who died shortly after) gets extra pages and pictures in the article in the Straits Times. She had her own missions: to wear a cheongsam and to be open about her illness. There is a picture of her sisters struggling with her wig, while laughing. Very brave and refreshing, to see Madame Foo 'do normal' about something so cruel and dramatic as cancer and dying.
For more information, check out these urls:
My respect and compliments for this impressive and important project and reportage go to the Lien Foundation, the Straits Times, the photographers and journalists and last but certainly not least the 23 people that participated, especially (postume) madame Foo and her family.
The reportage made me wonder what I would like my last outfit to be. I never really thought about that before....
It is not so much one specific outfit that comes to mind, but more clothes with some characteristics, that are typical for my style: feminine, colorfull, high (tango-)heels, accessorized, make-up as I normally wear, my blond curls spread out around my head like a halo....my body surrounded by pictures of all my loved ones...
What about you? Any ideas about your Last Outfit?
This post is dedicated to my dear sister-in-law who died after a short, brave fight with cancer.