The Chines Ministry of Culture has vowed to crack down on the recent trend of “obscene funeral performances” and “lascivious last rites” in which the family hires strippers to dance at loved ones’ gravesides. The point of inviting them is to attract large crowds to the deceased’s funeral, which is seen as a harbinger of good fortune in the afterlife. “It’s to give them face,” one villager explained. “Otherwise no one would come.”
“Here, respect for the dead is measured in crowd size, expense, and decibles.” he says.
China Central Television’s leading investigative news show aired an exposé on the practice of scantily clad women making appearances at memorial services, findingover a dozen funeral performance troupes offering such services in every village in the county, putting on as many as 20 shows a month at a rate of 2,000 yuan ($322) a pop.
“This has severely polluted the local cultural life,” CCTV intoned at the time, marveling at the sight of one women gyrating out of her closes mere steps from a photo of the deceased. “These troupes only care about money. As for whether it’s legal, or proper, or what effect it has on local customs, they don’t think much about it.”
According to a statement from the Ministry of Culture on Thursday, the government plans to work closely with the police to eliminate such performances.