Dancers spice up SA funerals

2015-04-12 17:37

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The practice of dancing at funerals is new in SA and has become a money-spinner, with funeral planners and families hiring dancers to perform at the burial ceremony.

Aside from a few traditional funeral songs and a sombre walk around the coffin, there has never been much liveliness associated with the burial of a loved one in many cultures, particularly southern African cultures.

However, this is changing at home and abroad as dancers, twerkers and even strippers become part of the funeral ceremony.

Just last year, a video of some women in Soshanguve twerking next to an open grave went viral after a cheering mourner uploaded the video on YouTube.

The public was divided on the matter. City Press reported that while some attendees wanted the same treatment at their funerals, others believed the practice was “wicked”.

Nevertheless, the practice of dancing at funerals has become somewhat commercialised, with funeral planners and family members hiring trained dancers to perform at the ceremony. In another video that went viral, funeral dancers showcase their fancy footwork while carrying the coffin.

In Taiwan, the practice of having scantily clad dancers in attendance is nothing new.

The women strip slowly on what are called electric flower cars – trucks that have been converted into wheeled, neon-lit platforms – as the vehicle participates in the funeral procession.

The idea is that the women will appease and entertain wandering spirits attending the funeral, and ensure an exciting passage for the deceased into the next life.

Whether the practice of dancing takes place at home or abroad, it brings an interesting new dynamic to the funeral ceremony, although it’s not clear whether the entertainment is for the deceased or the guests.

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