The Toraja people of Sulawesi, Indonesia, have a unique tradition when it comes to death. Instead of burying or cremating their deceased loved ones, they keep the bodies in their homes for extended periods. This practice, which has been around for centuries, is based on animist beliefs that all things in the universe have a soul and that the boundary between this world and the next is blurred.
The dead are treated as if they were still alive, given their rooms, and attended to daily. They are washed, dressed in clean clothes, and provided with food and cigarettes twice a day. Their bodies are injected with a preservative called Formalin to prevent decomposition.
Although outsiders may find this tradition strange, it is an important part of Torajan culture, with more than a million people following it. It can be months or even years before a funeral takes place, and during that time, the family cares for the body as if it were a sick relative. The deceased are never left alone, and the lights are always left on for them at night.
One reason for the care given to the corpses is the fear that neglecting them will result in trouble for their spirits. The Torajan people take their responsibility to care for their loved ones even after death very seriously