In America, it’s a well-known fact that politicians tend to have a thing for strippers but they keep that secret under lock and key. In Taiwan and rural China, it’s reportedly common for pole dancers and strippers to be part of how people remember you when you die. And a Taiwanese politician who recently passed away had a pretty epic, booty clapping funeral procession.
Tung Hsiang, a former Chiayi County Council Speaker, died in December and his son, hired 50 pole dancers to ride on top of jeeps, work the pole and give his father a joyful send-off. “He told us he wanted this through a dream two days before the funeral,” his brother Tung Mao-Hsiung told a local news station. His son says that his father told him in the dream that he wanted the funeral to be “hilarious.”
According to anthropology professor Marc Moskowitz, the ritual began popping up in Taiwan in the 1980’s and is rooted in the hiring of “wailers”—women who would cry at the funeral.
“The stripping performances started out as something that gangsters did, but generally spread out to become common practice throughout Taiwan,” Moskowitz writes. “They are primarily associated with the working class or poorer communities.”
In China, it’s believed to be a great honor to have crowds at a funeral and the practice of hiring strippers has been employed to bring more people out. Chinese government authorities are not fans of the practice and have asked citizens to stop it.
Tung’s son says his father “enjoyed a buzz.” Sorry, I might cry, it’s just so beautiful.
You can watch footage of the proceedings embedded above and below.