China Cracks Down on Cultural Custom of Stripper Entertainment at Funerals
AP Photo/ Charlie RiedelSociety23:33 21.02.2018(updated 23:34 21.02.2018) Get short URL
Chinese authorities have once again begun cracking down on the custom involving strippers performing at funerals, a practice some rural families employ to increase turnout at a loved one’s farewell ceremony.
Last month, the country’s Ministry of Culture said that it would clamp down on “striptease” and other “obscene, pornographic and vulgar performances” at funerals in Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces. Stripping entertainment at funerals is a common practice in rural China to encourage more people to attend the ceremony. The higher the number of mourners, the more respect the deceased is shown, according to cultural beliefs.
The ministry has encouraged anyone who views any stripping performances at funerals to call a special hotline and report the incident in exchange for a reward, the state-run newspaper Global Times reported.
“The crowd is pushed to climax, roaring with laughter, whistling, applauding and cursing,” as the Global Times described a typical ceremony.
“As the performers saunter into the audience to jiggle their breasts and rub men’s crotches, a reminder of ‘no photographs allowed’ can occasionally be heard,” the report states.
“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 article said.
Chinese authorities have previously try to eliminate the cultural practice, to no avail.
In 2015, photos of strippers at funerals in two villages in the Hebei and Jiangsu provinces went viral. The photos showed strippers undressing men at funerals on stage while seniors and children watched.
At the time, the Ministry of Culture released a statement calling the act of stripping at funerals “uncivilized.” Five striptease troupe leaders were also detained in the Jiangsu province in 2006, BBC reported.