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Taking the Fun out of Funerals

What use does a dead man have for a stripper? “It’s to give them face,” explained a Chinese villager — that’s why strippers are hired to perform at funerals. “Otherwise no one would come.” And well-attended funerals are culturally associated with good fortune beyond the grave. In an investigation nearly a decade ago, the government-run China Central Television discovered a dozen groups offering funeral strippers in just one county. “This has severely polluted the local cultural life,” it said. Recently, after a picture showing a stripper performing in front of children went viral, the government made one arrest and the Ministry of Culture has promised a crackdown. (AC/Wall Street Journal) ...If the culture calls for a crowd, and the strippers draw a crowd, isn’t a practice of hiring strippers just the culture adapting?
Original Publication Date: 17 May 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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