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China cracks down on strippers at funerals

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Giving new meaning to “funeral services,” a number of Chinese families in recent months have added a lascivious element to their loved ones’ last rites: strippers.

The unseemly innovation came to public attention this week after China’s state-run Xinhua news agency detailed two instances of the practice and said police were working with the Ministry of Culture to stamp out the “uncivilized” and “pornographic” practice.

The goal of the adult entertainment, Xinhua indicated, was apparently to attract more mourners to the memorial service. In China, a paltry number of mourners can signify that a person was not well-liked and thus disgrace a family.

In recent years, out-of-work actors and others have hired themselves out as “professional mourners” to wail loudly at funerals.

The Ministry of Culture said one of the bare burials occurred in the northern province of Hebei near Beijing and the other in the eastern province of Jiangsu; both took place in February. In the Hebei case, six dancers from the Red Rose Dance Troupe performed from 8 to 10:30 p.m., with their final burlesque turning into a striptease, the ministry said.

In both cases, the organizers and performers were punished, some with fines up to $7,500 and “administrative detention” lasting 15 days.

Stripping is illegal in China.

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