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China: Funeral strippers in authorities' sights

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

image copyrightWeibo
image captionFuneral organisers hope the crowds attracted by the strippers will reflect well on the deceased
The Chinese authorities say they will push to end the rural practice of having strippers perform at funerals.
The culture ministry put out a statement condemning as "uncivilised" habit of inviting exotic dancers to induce more people to attend the funeral, the official news agency Xinhua reports.
The ministry named two recent examples where strippers had been invited to stage "obscene performances" - one in north China's Hebei Province and another in east China's Jiangsu. In both cases, both organisers and performers have been punished, it said, adding that it will work with police to stamp out the practice.
Strippers are used to boost funeral attendances because large crowds are seen as a mark of honour for the deceased, and the authorities have previously tried to crack down on the custom - apparently without success.
But officials are undeterred. "Having exotic performances of this nature at funerals highlights the trappings of modern life in China, whereby vanity and snobbery prevail over traditions," Xinhua thunders.
Many on social media appear unaware of the custom - and are aghast. "I really don't understand how this can be seen as moral," one says, although another sees the funny side: "Strippers at funerals? You're killing me! What kind of trend is this?!"
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