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What is a Knanaya Vision funeral?

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Quick Answer

The Knanaya Vision website acts as an informational and communal hub for members of the Knanaya religion, and it includes a streaming broadcast that often shows the funerals of Knanaya members. Funerals loosely follow the traditional Christian format, which includes a mass with the body displayed, commemorative speeches and songs.

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Full Answer

The Knanaya religion is one of two subsets of St. Thomas Christianity, which originated in India some time between the fourth and eighth centuries and is distinguished by the practice of endogamy. They are concentrated in the state of Kerala, but have spread across the world, including a community in Chicago.

Although Knanaya are similar to traditional Christian ones, several rituals are unique to the Knanaya. These include drinking from a coconut to emphasize familial bonds, folding plantain leaves at the meal, and the practice of Thazhukal, which involves hugging the family members of the deceased when the funeral has finished.

In addition to showing funerals, Knanaya Vision also includes, among other things, a weekly newsletter, a page featuring news stories from the community, a message board and a page for obituaries. There is also a Facebook page, Knanaya Voice, which contains more than 15,000 members and allows the community to share and communicate with each other.

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