The Slatest

Some People in China Hire Sexy Dancers to Perform at Funerals

A dancer performing at a funeral in Chongqing in 2011.

Liu Jin/AFP/Getty

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s regime has become notorious for strict stances against protests, corruption, drug use, and televised depictions of immorality. On Thursday the Wall Street Journal noted another practice that’s become subject to increased enforcement: funeral stripping.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Culture on Thursday, the government plans to work closely with the police to eliminate such performances, which are held with the goal of drawing more mourners.

Pictures of a funeral in the city of Handan in northern Hebei province last month showed a dancer removing her bra as assembled parents and children watched. They were widely circulated online, prompting much opprobrium.

This doesn’t seem like it could possibly be a true thing, but the Journal links to a National Geographic segment from 2012 about similar practices in Taiwan. Here’s a still from the footage:

Screen shot/National Geographic

I also found an AFP story about the phenomenon from 2011:

Funereal chants are replaced with popular songs and comedy stories. A belly dancer performs, followed by a woman in a leopard-print bustier [and] black leather pants who writhes to a pulsating techno beat.

Lin Shiqing, Liang’s niece, explains that the spectacle should not be seen as a lack of respect for the dead.

Other societies truly have so much to offer the United States: their philosophical traditions, their cultures and cuisines, their unique approaches to being a weird, low-rent sleazeball even after you’re dead.