The Chinese government recently banned strippers from funerals, protesting that the growing trend is uncivilized.
“Residents used to hire local opera performers at funerals,” stated Chinese state media. “However, striptease dancers are gradually taking over, with local residents spending large sums of money to show them off to others.”
In China, people believe a large crowd at a funeral rewards the dead greatly in their afterlife. The dead’s family book strippers to entice more people to attend the funeral.
“It’s to give them face,” said a villager in the Hebei province. “Otherwise no one would come.”
Pictures of a stripper removing her bra in front of children at a funeral last month went viral. The police raided the funeral and arrested the person in charge. There are dozens of companies who offer strippers specifically for funerals, averaging around $322 a performance.
“Two strippers wearing revealing clothes danced on a stage at a public square in our village at night on February 15,” described a man only known as Zhang. “They first danced passionately and then took off their clothes piece by piece. Behind them, an electronic screen was displaying a picture of the deceased with elegiac couplets on either side.”
The practice is not new. Police arrested five people in 2006 in Donghai county after strippers performed at a funeral with over two hundred attendees.
No one knows if the government will stop the practice due to corruption.
“Some authorities even indulge or tacitly permit the performance as they accept bribes or have relationships with the performing groups,” explained professor Xie Zhiyong from the China University of Political Science and Law.