THE NUMBER of cremations is up in Slovakia, showing that the country’s traditional preference for burial is waning. In fact, in some towns and cities, the number of cremations now exceeds the number of burials. A rise is even seen in the countryside, where the price of cremations has dropped, the Sme daily wrote.
Ethnologist Magdaléna Páriková attributes the change to the fact that the Catholic Church no longer forbids cremation, leading to greater acceptance even among conservative parts of the population.
Vincent Francl from Funeral, which operates the crematorium in Žilina, told the daily that cremations are 60 percent cheaper than burials.
The acceptance is highest among young people from towns and cities. And Pavol Bielik from the Banská Bystrica crematorium reported a rise among people from the suburbs.
Still, most of the people choosing cremation come from the capital. Miloslav Hrádek, the head of the Marianum funeral home in Bratislava, said that cremations now outnumber burials by three to one.
He confirmed that cremation has become the choice for young people, especially those who live in housing estates. Bratislava’s older inhabitants, however, still prefer burials.
Francl agrees, noting that the ratio between cremations and burials in Žilina is just about evenly split.
He said middle-aged people are also becoming interested in the option.
But in Nitra, far more people prefer burials, Peter Vysoký from the local crematorium said. In fact, the Nitra crematorium more often holds services for families from the distant town of Martin than for locals.
In eastern Slovakia, Karol Kačmáry from the Košice crematory said that the city’s inhabitants make up 50 percent of the total number of cremations. The rest involves people from the rest of eastern Slovakia.
All crematorium operators agree that cremation is much cheaper than burial. The prices differ between western and eastern Slovakia, but even the cheapest burial comes out ahead of cremation.
Ján Molnár from the Nové Zámky crematorium said that a modest cremation costs about Sk8,000 (more than €265). A traditional, modest funeral can cost more than Sk12,000 (about €400), the daily wrote.
Taking ashes home in an urn makes a cremation even cheaper, as it eliminates the need for a grave.
10. Nov 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports