Dead will have to live without life's luxuries

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2006, 12:00am

There's no guarantee that the dead can enjoy the earthly delights of Viagra, Super Girls and luxury cars, but mainland authorities are going make sure they don't - by outlawing 'superstitious' traditional paper offerings.

The tradition of burning offerings to ensure the deceased have a long and comfortable afterlife has been revived on the mainland in recent years, with vendors selling paper models in the image of luxury homes, horses and even the Super Girls singers.

But these creative offerings would soon be outlawed, said Vice-Minister of Civil Affairs Dou Yupei . Speaking in Chengdu on Sunday at a national conference on funeral services, Mr Dou said the government was working to revise regulations governing funeral services and management which would make burning 'superstitious' offerings an offence.

'Burning this stuff not only encourages an air of superstition, but also looks vulgar and obscene,' Mr Dou was quoted by the Huaxi Metropolis News as saying.

He said those who burned models of villas, sedans and mistresses would be punished by the ministries of land and resources, forestry, and civil affairs. Funeral service operators yesterday said they were already wary of selling provocative offerings in case they contravened existing regulations.