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China’s Ministry Of Culture Vows To Crackdown On Strippers At Funerals

The tradition of hiring strippers to perform at funerals in China has captured the Internet’s attention, which means it’s also attracted the attention of the government.

China’s Ministry of Culture says the practice needs to stop—at once.

The Ministry of Culture released a statement Thursday saying that it plans to collaborate with police to make sure strippers can’t frequent grave sites. One of the reasons strippers are employed is to boost attendance numbers at funerals, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to folk mythology, the larger the crowd, the greater the deceased person’s fortune will be in the afterlife. In other instances, family members view it as an indication of filial piety and also employ the strippers to signal wealth.

This isn’t a particularly new tradition and is much more common in rural areas. It has flourished in Taiwan for decades. Wealthy Chinese tend to view the tradition with considerable disdain.

But the practice grabbed the government’s attention after pictures from a funeral in northern Hebei province circulated like wildfire around the Internet. These pictures showed a stripper undressing in front of children and attracted a great deal of criticism, prompting the ministry to call the performances “obscene.”

In the Hebei case, six strippers arrived at a funeral and offered their services. Chinese investigators flooded the scene and later grabbed Li, the person responsible for the Red Rose Singing and Dance Troupe, and fined him approximately $11,300 dollars. He was also detained for 15 days.

According to reports, the phenomenon of strippers at funerals has been on the rise since 2006, which was highlighted by an investigation from China Central Television (CCTV), a state-run network.

“These troupes only care about money,” the network stated at the time. “As for whether it’s legal, or proper, or what effect it has on local customs, they don’t think much about it.”

Some strippers even use snakes and perform up to 20 shows in a single month. For each show, they bring in around $322 dollars, according to CCTV.

Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter


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