In China, where some villagers in rural areas believe that a bigger turnout at funerals honors the dead, they’ve taken a rather unusual path to increase attendance: hire strippers to perform at the funeral.
The phenomenon has upset the Chinese government enough that in January the Ministry of Culture announced it would target “striptease” and other “obscene, pornographic, and vulgar performances” at funerals, weddings and traditional Chinese New Year public gatherings, according to the Telegraph.
The practice of stripping at such events has been going on for at least a decade; the government first attempted to crack down on the practice in 2006 and made a second effort in 2015. The Ministry of Culture stated that their efforts are targeting 19 cities across four provinces, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei.
There are other explanations for the public eroticism; media professor Kuang Haiyan told The Global Times, “According to the interpretation of cultural anthropology, the fete is originated from the worship of reproduction. Therefore the erotic performance at the funeral is just a cultural atavism.”
People witnessing stripping at funerals have been offered money to report the occurrences to the government. The Global Times stated, “In recent decades 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 — most recently, strippers — to comfort the bereaved and entertain the mourners.”
The practice is not limited to mainland China; on January 3, 2017, the funeral parade for Taiwanese politician Tung Hsiang featured 50 barely-clad women pole-dancing on cars. A documentary about funeral stripping in Taiwan titled “Dancing for the Dead” was released in 2011.