Domes and the Dead: An example of extreme fatalism among mortuary workers in Bangladesh

Masum A. Patwary, William T. O'Hare, K. Maudood Elahi, M. Manzurul Hassan, Mosharraf H. Sarker

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Abstract

Domes in Dhaka are a group exposed to extremely unpleasant, stressful and psychologically damaging working conditions and cultural marginalisation. In observing them and speaking with them, two questions are obvious: why do they do it and how do they cope? The answer to the first question seems to be that they accept their position, more through extreme fatalism than any sense of reward or worth. The answer to the second seems to lie partly in their relationship with the dead bodies, to which they attribute powers and motives, and partly in resorting to alcohol, linked to an apparent immunity from the normal restrictions placed on alcohol consumption in Bangladesh.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-18
JournalKaleidoscope: The Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Journal of Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
EventAfterlives Postgraduate Conference 2009 - Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

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