When a loved one passes, it is often important for those left behind to follow the customs of their religions and cultures when it comes to the burial. Wagga’s Yazidi community have had a weight taken off their mind with the official recognition of an allocated burial site.
Dalal Alhasan, a young Yazidi woman, said they are so pleased to have a place to ensure their loved ones are buried properly.
Ms Alhasan said it was the tradition for their loved ones to be buried together and facing where the sun rises.
“We are hoping to build a little house, like a prayer place as well,” she said. “Thank you so much to Belinda and friends, it is a nice thing for our community and we love it.”
Yazidi custom also dictates when someone is buried it must be done in daylight hours, Ms Alhasan said.
“It is part of our culture,” she said.
Belinda Crain, CEO of the Wagga Multicultural Council, said the Yazidis had concerns after their arrival in Australia.
“One of the issues raised was in regards to burials,” she said. “I talked to the community about what their needs were and worked out if there were any special traditions that they needed to observe.
“They told me there was no difference in regards to an Australian or Christian person’s burial. They just need to be buried together.”
Ms Crain said once she knew there were no special requirements, she could go about finding how to get allocated land.
“For example, our Muslim community is not buried in a coffin they are buried in a shrine so we have certain funeral directors in Wagga that observe the culture and tradition,” she said.
Ms Crain then contacted Wagga City Council to see whether land could be allocated for their denomination.
“They showed me the section of land and I took members of the community to have a look at the land to see if it met their needs and they thought it was great,” she said. “The land also backs onto a reserve which would allow the community to build a monument.”
An official has been established at the Wagga Monumental Cemetery, with room for 120 plots.
“There are also three other settlements of Yazidis across Australia,” she said. “If one of them passed away, they would come here to Wagga because we have the certain section here.”