In some areas of China (and not only) at the funeral of wealthy people, one could see a magnificent funeral procession, in which invited strippers took part. The girls writhed around the pylon on the roofs of slow moving cars and seemed to feel quite comfortable in such unusual circumstances.
Although the Chinese authorities now and then call such scenes “offensive and vulgar”, so far the ban on dancers is the most alive.
Where did it come from
According to one theory, strippers at funerals are meant to stir up the crowd – a large crowd means that the deceased was a respected person, and many people came to honor his memory.
According to another version (which, however, does not contradict the first), erotic dances played the role of a kind of “fertility ritual”.
Huan Jianxin, a professor at a university in Fujian Province, comments on this tradition: “In some local cultures, a dance with erotic elements may be seen as the embodiment of the deceased’s desire to be blessed with many children.”
It is believed that the tradition originates from the 90s of the last century, from Taiwan, where at that time the local mafia completely seized control of the funeral business, but they offered dancers from their clubs at a reduced price.
But in historical reports, the mention of a woman undressing in a temple appears as early as the second half of the 18th century.
Everybody is dancing!
While it does occur in other remote parts of China, the practice is most widespread in Taiwan.
But even there in large cities you will not encounter anything like this.
“Funeral striptease is in the gray border zone between legal and illegal activities. Much less often something like this can be found in metropolitan areas, ”says anthropologist from the University of South Carolina Mars Moskowitz.
The purpose of the erotic dance is not only to gather the crowd (although this, too, of course), but also to calm the grieving, invigorate their spirits. What happens at a funeral depends on the specific group of people. Typically, the performance includes special cars with poles attached to the roof, strippers dancing on them, music, fireworks and neon-lit stages.
Pleasure is not cheap, so, of course, not everyone can afford erotic dancers.
Sometimes the dancers take off their bras and panties in front of an excited crowd.
Every now and then scandals erupt in connection with this tradition.
For example, a year ago, not only drummers and an orchestra were invited to the funeral of one of the Taiwanese politicians, but also 50 half-naked girls who performed an incendiary dance on the roofs of cars.
In response to attacks from the public, the family of the deceased replied that they simply wanted to honor the memory of the deceased, who loved to have fun.
If a family wants to comply with applicable laws and avoid stripping in public, they sometimes invite striptease dancers such as cheerleaders instead.
The Chinese government is outraged by this practice. They call the performances uncivilized and emphasize that those who call strippers to funerals should be severely punished.
Most of all, of course, they are worried about public exposure, especially in the presence of minors.
So, the authorities punish both the perpetrators and the organizers of such a scenario.
It is not known how this will end, but the Chinese government has set itself the goal of eradicating the “vulgar custom”.