Taiwan politician's funeral features 50 pole dancers

Image source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
The convoy of 50 jeeps with pole dancers brought traffic in Chiayi city to a standstill

A Taiwanese funeral featuring 50 pole dancers has become the talk of the Chinese internet this week.

Videos of the funeral procession, which took place on Tuesday, have been circulating online showing skimpily-clad women gyrating on top of jeeps in the southern city of Chiayi.

The funeral was for local politician Tung Hsiang, who died last month.

His family said they wanted to honour Mr Tung, who loved "having a lively fun time", local media reported.

The procession, featuring the convoy of colourful jeeps blasting loud music, brought traffic to a standstill in the city centre.

It also had a drumming troupe, a marching band, performers dressed as deities and giant puppets.

Image source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
The dancers were part of huge funeral procession for local councillor Tung Hsiang

Mr Tung, a local councillor, was a well-known figure in the city and was active in politics for decades.

He died from an unspecified illness at the age of 76 in December.

"He told us he wanted this through a dream two days before the funeral," his brother Tung Mao-hsiung told Taiwanese broadcaster CTS.

Since Tuesday, videos of the procession have been circulating on Chinese media and social network Weibo, generating much interest.

"Now this is what I call a funeral!" said one user, while another wrote: "Looks like when it comes to funeral matters, Taiwan still comes first."

Others praised Mr Tung and his family for providing an entertaining afternoon for the city's residents. "This is what it means to be the 'people's councillor'!" said one netizen.

Another person joked: "The city's residents are asking: please die one more time!"

But hiring dancers and even strippers for funerals is not that unusual in parts of Taiwanese society, in which some practise a folk religion that believes in "entertaining" spirits.

One expert wrote that the practice combined old customs of using professional female wailers at funerals and holding processions for religious holidays with a desire to celebrate the deceased with a big, bustling public event.