BEIJING (AFP) – Chinese authorities on Thursday bared the details of their latest anti-vice sweep: a campaign to halt the hiring of strippers at funerals.
In a statement posted on its website, China’s Ministry of Culture pledged a “crackdown” on the practice, which it said has become increasingly common in rural areas.
“From time to time, ‘stripteases’ and other illegal performances have occurred in the countryside,” the statement said, adding that authorities will “promptly investigate and punish” businesses and individuals involved in the risque shows.
China’s official Xinhua news agency said such performances are typically organised in order to draw a larger crowd at last rites.
One example cited by the Ministry of Culture was a funeral in north China’s Hebei province.
“Two strippers wearing revealing clothes danced on a stage at a public square in our village at night on February 15,” an eyewitness surnamed Zhang told the state-run Global Times newspaper earlier this month.
“They first danced passionately and then took off their clothes piece by piece,” the man said. “Behind them, an electronic screen was displaying a picture of the deceased with elegiac couplets on either side.”
In another case later that month, a troupe in east China’s Jiangsu province was detained for funeral performances that drew crowds of as many as 500 local residents, according to provincial news site xichu.net.
The troupe engaged in “erotic performances on the stage with sexual organs exposed and imitating sexual acts,” police officer Tang Jinyang told the news site.
Such shows “disrupt the order of the rural cultural market and corrupt the social atmosphere,” China’s Ministry of Culture said.
Chinese village offers strippers at funerals to ‘cheer up’ mourners grieving for their loved ones
- Villagers in the rural Hebei province in China documented the bizarre scene
- Scantily-clad women have performed at a number of funerals
- The hosts reportedly hired the strippers to help ‘cheer up’ mourners
- Tradition was introduced 20 years ago by the Taiwanese mafia
- Experts believe it is a means of offering the deceased more honour
Bizarre photographs have emerged from Hebei province of northern China, showing scantily-clad women gyrating for mouners in an apparent bid to help cheer them up, reports Shanghaiist.
A stripper performing at a funeral in the rural northern Chinese province of Hebei
The scandalous performances started popping up after this months week-long Spring Festival holiday in the Wuhan Mountains, which saw 177,000 revellers gather for communal celebrations.
When the villagers returned to their hometowns, they noticed a string of the adult themed memorials taking place.
The funeral hosts reportedly invited the exotic-dancers on stage at the end of the service in hopes of ‘cheering up’ funeral-goers.
The tradition originated 20 years ago in Taiwan, when the local mafia seized control of the mortuary industry and offered strippers from their clubs at a cut price.
The girls typically perform on electric flower cars that act as neon-lit stages. These offer an easy getaway if police arrive to the scene.
The funeral hosts reportedly invited the dancers on stage at the end of the service to help cheer up the attending mourners
A crowd of mourners watching the scandalous performance, which was captured this month after the Spring Festival holiday
The Chinese government is attempting to crack down on the controversial practice, which they see as a threat to public morality.
Anthropologist Marc L Moskowitz documented the controversial practice in his 2012 documentary Dancing For The Dead: Funeral Strippers In Taiwan.
The film suggested the more people who attend a funeral, the more honour is given to the deceased. In turn, strippers are used to ‘bribe’ mourners to turn up.
Tags: 'bribe' mourners, adult themed memorials, cheer up the attending mourners, China, Chinese, Chinese culture, corruption, Dancing For The Dead: Funeral Strippers In Taiwan, funerals, Strippers, strippers at funerals, Wuhan Mountains