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Chinese Strippers Make for Arousing Funerals

And so we send off our dearly departed comrade to the afterlife, and now...TAKE IT OFF! TAKE IT OFF! TAKE IT OFF!....

Update: Chinese Stripper Video! added below...OK, OK, it's a news report from Chinese TV on the stripper saga, but you got excited...didn't you? ;-)

Having been married into a Chinese family for more than 10 years now, I've attended a handful of funerals in Fujian Province, China. They've been overwhelmingly sad affairs, of course, though out of the corner of my eye I've kept an eye on Chinese funeral conventions that are somewhat culturally interesting to me: burning paper and cardboard castles, cell phones, cars and money for use in the afterlife; the Taoist Monk chanting ceremonies; parading through the streets in white gowns and hats that--sorry, it's just true--could nearly pass for KKK garb in the U.S.

But this, well, this is a new one even for me.

Seems that certain small out-of-the-way places in China are now starting to spice up their dear departeds' funerals with...FEMALE STRIPPERS!!!

OK, it breaks down like this:

In these villages, the more people who attend your funeral, the more "honored" or important you are thought to be. Ten people show up to your funeral? You are nothing. Nada. The whole village of 500 people shows up? Ah, You Da MAN. Or WOMAN.

So to attract the multitudes, a new business has sprung up: troupes of strippers for hire at funerals.

Shanghai Daily reports:

Farmers in a small Jiangsu town (Donghai) host strippers at their funerals to attract larger crowds, China Central Television reported the unique custom on Monday.

The local people believe that the more people gathered at a funeral, the more luck it will bring to the family and offspring. So some families hire striptease troupes to attract more people, the report said.
Some strippers even take off the trousers of male viewers and persuade them to join in the dancing, while others bathe in public or perform nude with snakes.

Update: Looks like we have to go back to boring old funerals. The Chinese government has stepped in to halt the practice--even setting up a hotline you can use to rat on your neighbors, in case they don't invite you to their stripper-adorned funerals. From BBC News:

Five people have been detained in China for running striptease send-offs at funerals, state media say.

The once-common events are held to boost the number of mourners, as large crowds are seen as a mark of honour.

But the arrests, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, could signal the end of the rural tradition.

Local officials have since ordered a halt to "obscene performances" and say funeral plans have to be submitted in advance, Xinhua news agency said.

The arrests, in Donghai county, followed striptease acts at a farmer's funeral, the agency said.

Two hundred people were said to have attended the event, which was held on 16 August.

Video news from CCTV; might take awhile to load outside China, but there it is:

August 2006

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