VIDEO What are funeral strippers? Why are they a thing in China?

Funeral Two

What are funeral strippers? Why are they a thing in China? Strippers at a funeral is actually a long-standing tradition in parts of China, where large numbers of mourners are highly desirable. But if the government has its way, families of the deceased will have to find some other way to draw crowds.

Funeral strippers, a long-standing tradition in China and especially Taiwan, is facing a serious crackdown from government officials who want to curb and eventually end the idiosyncratic practice. The idea behind the strange and enticing idea is simple: in some parts of China, the belief is that “the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honored.” Whether the people who attend are there to honor the dead or to see boobies is unimportant.

And, for some families, showing off wealth and prosperity–in the form of lavish floats covered with strippers dancing to a well-timed music-and-light show–is also very important, as evidenced by the following example:



The Chinese government, though, is beginning to show serious displeasure with this practice. NPR reports that police have broken up several funeral strip shows in the provinces of Hebei (to the north) and Jiangsu (to the east). Back in February, the Red Rose Singing and Dance Troupe found itself the target of a bust–and the troupe’s organizer spent fifteen days in jail, and had to pay a $11,000 fine.

Photos of some of that truncated performance found their way onto a Chinese news site. (Careful–a couple of them are somewhat NSFW.)

China’s Ministry of Culture addressed the tradition–and its response to the tradition–in a terse statement. “This type of illegal operation,” said the Ministry, “disrupts order of the cultural market in the countryside and corrupts social morals and manners.”


(Photo credits: Funeral strippers: Funeral and stripper via Flickr)

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