Belly Dancing For The Dead

NPR’s Louisa Lim spends a day with one of China’s top professional mourners, Dingding (“Dragonfly”) Mao: As the ceremony starts, the strains of “The Internationale” ring out, and Zhang...

Henan Officials Commit a Grave Error

China saw 41 self-immolation protests against forced evictions between 2009 and 2011. One might expect that death would at least be the end of the problem; but not in Zhukou city in Henan province, where local authorities are...

Hospital in China Fends Off Angry Mob

Professional mourners have long been a part of funerals in China. Now, the bereaved can also hire mobs of pitchfork-wielding protesters to add teeth to demands for compensation, while beseiged hospital staff are taking up arms...

China Curbs Fancy Tombs That Irk Poor

In China, a movement towards more austere funerals so as to not alienate the poor. From the New York Times: Ever since Deng Xiaoping signaled in 1978 that it was fine to get rich, much of China has seemed hell-bent on that goal....

The Joys and Sorrows of a Professional Mourner

Danwei translates a Beijing News story about professional wailers who perform songs of mourning at funerals: One can make a decent amount of money being a proxy mourner. The profession recently came to the attention of the...

Funeral jobs Hot among Shanghai Graduates

Desperate graduates apply for funeral jobs in Shanghai, via China Daily: It is the one business that is never short of clients, and 366 college graduates will this week find out if the city’s funeral industry is the answer...

More Than a Billion Chinese but So Few Coffins – Keith Bradsher

From the New York Times: In China these days, just about every form of commerce is thriving, including decidedly illegal ones like prostitution and counterfeiting. But not coffin making. For centuries, this city’s Longevity Lane was the best-known place in China to buy top-quality cedar coffins. Legend has it that the city’s reputation was established […]

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