China Is Trying To Get Away From Funeral Strippers

Nomi in Showgirls

China is in desperate need to crack down on, shall we say, an unusual problem. According to recent reports, The Ministry of Culture feels compelled to limit the number of funeral strippers populating their recent burial grounds, hoping to target the "obscene, pornographic and vulgar performances" that are being entertained for those in attendance to pay maybe a little more than just their respects. So... you know. Just your typical Wednesday hassles.

One reason why these sultry performances are being sought in the first place is to increase the attendance of select funerals. For certain communities, large funeral crowds are seen as a great honor -- and can be made happen any means necessary. Like hiring actual strippers to show up. As family members lower their loved ones into the ground, some exotic dancers can apparently be seen lowering a few other things shortly nearby.

The story, as reported by the Global Times, find funerals are being met with roaring crowds, with people applauding, whistling, cheering and cursing at the scantily clad women who strut their stuff next to (or near) the recently deceased. It's not quite the atmosphere the country wishes to propagate at any time, let alone at a regular rotation.

These women are known for engaging with the black-attired crowd as they remove their own garments (in tribute to the ones no longer with us, of course), even rubbing men's legs and so on. However, no photos can be taken during these dances, which the raunchy performers are quick to remind patrons. The gatherings are remembering the dead, but the crowds sitting in attendance are very much alive. These lewd activities are organized not only to draw bigger attendances, but also to showcase the wealth and disposable income of select households.

In order to combat this recent string of interment-based disrobing, the ministry set up a hotline that offers rewards to those who report "funeral misdeeds," as it has loosely and charitably deemed, being conducted in 19 cities in Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei locations. But it's worth noting that it's not merely strippers who are hired to perform throughout China. Reports of such "stripping in graveyards" behavior were found going back to 2006. That's when five people were detained for their striptease antics at a farmer's funeral, which found up to 200 people in attendance. In 2015, Beijing reported two cases of similar obscenities during two funerals. These are just two examples; they're not isolated incidents of indecency.

It should be noted, however, that not all grieving families strictly seek strippers for their memorial services. Some families are also willing to hire actors, singers, and comedians to come out to pay their respect, draw in a crowd and lighten up the grave proceedings. So, at least some funeral entertainment is more wholesome, which is certainly an odd sentence to write out. But here we are, complete with funeral strippers and everything.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.