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Based on our experience, the general rule of thumb in choosing condolence flowers in Malaysia is by colours. To be safe, avoid anything colourful like the colour red or pink. Stick to white, yellow and black and you’re safe. This is because of the certain culture in Malaysia, such as the Chinese community have their taboo for a wake. Others such as Christians, Hindus, and Atheists accept more colourful arrangements.
Death brings so much grief, pain, and sadness. With emotions running high, the mourner tries to offer comforting things or give gestures to the bereaved family. A common practice is the presenting of condolences flowers (also called sympathy flowers) as a compassionate gesture. Rather than words, flowers make the ideal choice to express a grievance. However, selecting condolence flowers can be tough during distressing times like death. Having said that, below is some information that will guide you towards making the right decision.
1. Condolence Flowers Stand
Flowers stand is the most popular and common flower arrangement sent to a funeral service or wake in Malaysia. The flowers stand also called standing sprays outside of Malaysia. They get displayed in a prominent position on an easel near the casket or along with the room if there are many pieces. Standing as tall as 1.5m to 2m, they are the most noticeable feature. The amazing part is they can be arranged in a triangle or cross or a heart. Also, there is a choice to send the flowers stands directly to the church or the funeral home.
The wreaths have been in usage for many years. They are in a circular shape and denote eternal life respectively. A typical wreath is often found on the doors of funeral homes or on the casket. Unlike other arrays of flowers, wreaths are sent directly to the funeral home or the home of the bereaved. Normally, wreaths are brought to the place of the burial too. In Malaysia, many often referred to condolence flowers stand as the wreath.
3. Bouquet and baskets
The bouquet is flowers wrap with paper and decorated with ribbon normally. The popular wrapping style nowadays is Korean style. While basket flowers are an arrangement made on basket or box. In Malaysia, these designs are less popular for condolences. Mostly only bring for death anniversary prayers at home, or when visiting a tomb.
4. Sheaves and Sprays
Designed to lay flat, a sheaf or spray arrangement looks similar posies but shaped longer. It gets placed next to the graveside or the casket. The respective mourner has the choice to send sheaf or spray style funeral arrangements. In Malaysia, this is normally bought by family members or prepare by the funeral homes.
Lily is a universal flower that often respective funeral service arranges on-demand. The white type of stargazer lily is the most popular choice for condolences flowers. Commonly lily denotes restored innocence too.
Due to their freshness for a long time, carnations become the best choice for funerals. White carnations denote pure love; pink carnations represent remembrance.
Chrysanthemums are quite popular in many European and Asia countries. They include France, Hungary, Spain, and Poland. However, in the USA, they symbolize truth and in Asia they represent they depict grief. Variation of chrysanthemums is the most popular choice of flowers in a Chinese funeral in Malaysia. Some of the popular types of chrysanthemum are ping pong, mums, and pom-pom.
A gladiolus makes for a stem having multiple flowers. The average height of gladiolus we get in KL is about 50cm tall. Since they denote the strength of moral character and integrity, they became a choice for many western funerals. The best part is that they are available in different colours.
The cost of condolence flowers vary. It can be high or low depending on the arrangement you want. So, the cost of the funeral flowers can be priced from RM50 up to RM1000. Below is some example:
1. Bouquets will cost between RM40 to RM300
2. Casket sprays range between RM150 to RM500
3. Flower stand are valued between RM150 to RM1000
4. Wreaths cost around RM280 to RM600
5. Hearts and crosses RM350 to RM600
6. Posies and baskets RM50 to RM400
Suppose you can’t buy lots of flowers, no worry. You have the option to ask friends to share the cost of the flowers, which is a common practice in Malaysia. Just enter all your names together in the message card.
It is always best to write an accompanying message for funeral flowers on a notecard. The message should be brief and thoughtful. For a close friend or a relative, you can include a sympathy card as well with the flowers.
It should be noted that when sending funeral flowers, the message can be addressed to the deceased or the family. The common practice is addressed the person you know. Usually, you address the deceased if you are in a close relationship with him/her. For example, family members (relative), close friends.
The accompanying message is intended to give the final words or goodbyes to the deceased person. It is a significant aspect of the bereavement process. So, you need to be careful about the choice of words and show extra special care. If you are still not sure, choosing something simple like “Deepest Condolences” would not go wrong.