We all know about Ghana's dancing pallbearers. But have you heard about this?
Imagine this: A funeral service with women clad in skimpy lingerie, dancing and stripteasing to sexy music in front of bereaved family and friends. You may think that such lewd performances are inappropriate but in some Chinese rural areas, strippers and pole dancers are traditionally hired to entertain mourners.
The “mourners,” of course, are obviously not crying but watch dreamily during the performances, even laughing, whistling, applauding, and cursing as the ladies finish their set.
During the performance, an electronic screen on the wall also flashes the deceased person’s photo and name with a message that reads “we offer profound condolences for the death of this man”.
Chinese authorities have long been waging war against this kind of practice. In 2015, China’s Ministry of Culture said that they will crackdown funeral strippers in rural provinces due to their “obscene and vulgar performances at weddings, funerals, and temple events”, NY Post cited a Global Times report.
In 2018, the government even established a special “hotline” where the public can report any “funeral misdeeds” in exchange of monetary reward.
According to theories, some Chinese families hire strippers and pole dancers to attract more people to come to a funeral – which, they believe, brings honor for the dead.
In addition, Professor Huang Jianxing of Fujian Normal University explained:
“In some local cultures, dancing with erotic elements can be used to convey the deceased’s wishes of being blessed with many children,” he told Global Times.
Another possible reason behind it could be a bereaved family’s intent to display their wealth.
“Chinese rural households are more inclined to show off their disposable incomes by paying out several times their annual income for actors, singers, comedians, and strippers, to comfort the bereaved and entertain the mourners,” according to a report.
Global Times also wrote that the began in the 1990s as a way to “worship fertility”.
Experts believe that such practice will never go away “completely”, as funeral strippers still exist at present time.
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