This isn't your run-of-the-mill themed cafe.
Asia is the birthplace of a plethora of themed cafes — from cat and owl cafes to toilet cafes, and now in Bangkok, a death-themed cafe. At the Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe in Bangkok, the menu offers items called “painful”, “elder”, and “death”.
The cafe’s decor includes funeral wreaths and a skeleton sitting on a couch.The cafe even encourages its customers to write their last wills.
But the scene-stealer is an actual coffin. It doesn’t serve as mere decoration; customers are encouraged to lie down in the coffin and confront their own mortality. If that seems too macabre for you, maybe a small discount will convince you; customers who lie down in the coffin get 20 baht off their order.
But what is the point of this death awareness cafe in Bangkok?
There’s more to Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe than just a gimmick.The cafe is founded on the Buddhist concepts of impermanence and selflessness.
Professor and social researcher Veeranut Rojanapra founded the cafe to remind customers about their mortality.
“We found that having an awareness of death decreases greed and anger,” Veeranut tells Channel News Asia. “When one is aware of their own death, they will do good. This is what our Lord Buddha teaches.”
It’s also a way for customers to take a good look at their lives and see its real value. Around the Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe are signs designed to make you think long and hard about your life. “Are you ready if tonight you would just sleep and never wake up again?” one sign reads. “What is the purpose of your life?” another asks.
“When teenagers go down to the coffin and our staff close the coffin, because of the darkness, because of the small space, they will be aware of themselves,” says Veeranut. “They will recall the things that they still haven’t done.”
When was the last time you thought about the way you’re living your life?
Would you visit the Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe in Bangkok? Let us know in the comments below!
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