Bizarre customs: funeral strippers of Taiwan

It was reported earlier this year that associate professor Marc L. Moskowitz, of the Department of Anthropology of the University of South Carolina and “an expert on Taiwan’s folk religion and popular culture” has released a documentary entitled Dancing for the Dead: Funeral Strippers in Taiwan based on many hours of fieldwork he conducted throughout Taiwan in 2008.

A folk tradition in rural Taiwan is to hire young women to strip at a funeral ceremonies, and is deemed an important part of the grieving process, as a way to send off the recently dead. Some said it was because new ghosts (i.e. the spirit of the recently deceased) get picked on by older ghosts, thus the show was done to distract the older ghosts in order to let the new ghost get used to his new surroundings in peace.

Apparently, the custom came to the fore in the early 1980s and is basically associated with the working class.

The scantily clad girls hop on an Electric Flower Car [EFC] (which are actually diesel trucks with a stage attached and multicoloured lighting installed), then sing while erotically gyrating to pop numbers, finally stripping down to full nudity.

Surely scenes like this is few and far between elsewhere around the world

The government isn’t condoning it – it’s actively trying to crack down on the practice.


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