Joss paper
August 24, 2017 10:04 PM   Subscribe

I was thinking of using some hell money purchased in Penang, Malaysia, to decorate a small item of furniture using decoupage. Would this be considered disrespectful? Obviously I will not do so if that is the case. Answers from people from the appropriate traditions or with actual familiarity with them only, please.
posted by tavegyl to Society & Culture (6 answers total)
Hell money was burned at all four of my grandparents' funerals. I don't exactly know if I'd find it disrespectful (not sure what that would mean in this context) but I would definitely find it a bit weird/morbid, same as if I saw any item from any sort of strictly funerary custom just casually hanging out in someone's home.
posted by btfreek at 11:58 PM on August 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is part of my mother's family's tradition. I'd find it odd, honestly. I would wonder why you hadn't bothered to check into the significance of the item you were using. If I found out you actually did know what it was and what it was used for, I'd think you were tone deaf at best. Hell money has spiritual meaning to people.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:41 AM on August 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks both, that decides it. I won't use it for that purpose and will find another patterned paper for the item of furniture.
posted by tavegyl at 12:57 AM on August 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've had money burned at two of my grandparents' funerals. Agreed that it wouldn't be necessarily disrespectful to anyone person, but seeing this in someone's house would be similar to seeing their lamp with a cremation urn base or wallpaper with caskets on it.
posted by Karaage at 5:22 AM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Not my religion, but I've never seen it used as a basic crafting material here, while other local papers are, e.g. Chinese feng shui pages, batik prints. People have used it in art pieces where being hell money/items is the interrogation of the art within a context.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:35 AM on August 25, 2017

Buddhist and just recently had a funeral in the family.

I would totally side eye this and find it cringe inducing.
posted by Miss X at 10:22 AM on August 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

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