An Anthropologist Explains the Bizarre Phenomenon of Funeral Strippers in Taiwan

Striptease isn’t something that I’d normally associate with funerals, but apparently it’s a thing in Taiwan. I recently came a across this interview with the anthropologist Mark L. Moskovitz where he explains the phenomenon:

Electric Flower Cars are large pick-up trucks that have been converted to stages so that women can sing and dance as a truck drives along with a funeral procession or a temple procession. […] Women will sing and dance, usually in bikinis or other skimpy attire. Sometimes, they will take off all of their clothes. […]

The stripping performances started out as something that gangsters did, but generally spread out to become common practice throughout Taiwan. They are primarily associated with the working class or poorer communities.

Before you notify your next of kin that you’d be like to be remembered in this way, be aware that the practice is illegal in mainland China. According to the Wall Street Journal, the phenomenon has received highly critical coverage in Chinese state media:

“This has severely polluted the local cultural life,” CCTV intoned at the time, marveling at the sight of one women gyrating out of her clothes mere steps from a photo of the deceased. “These troupes only care about money. As for whether it’s legal, or proper, or what effect it has on local customs, they don’t think much about it.”

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