I don’t know what is happening but the Gods are on tour today. Not just one parade, but multiple parades passing each other, going different directions, crossing each other path at corners, and getting stuck.
I’ve seen at least 6 different parades trying to get past the same intersection and more are coming.
FIrecrackers, the giant gods, drums, all kinds of music competing with each other, bikini-clad dancing girls on brass poles on the back of trucks, Gods carried on peoples shoulders that must keep moving forward and backward and sideways at all times.
I was listening to a radio program recently where they said the reason why you get bikini girls at these things and strippers at funerals is because of pressure from gangsters to employ their girls. So its basic corruption in the form of inappropriate sexiness and sexism. Anyone got anything more on that?
I got stuck because of that procession. They’ve been going around An He Road, Tong Hua Street, and the furniture street since the early morning. Half the guys are chewing bing lan (hence the Red). I didn’t see any bikinis though
They’re playing these really annoying trumpet/horn thingys that don’t sound like any traditional Taiwanese instrument - they sound more like something from Thailand. I walk around An He every day, go to the nightmarket very often, and didn’t recognize any of those guys. I don’t think they’re locals.
[quote=“zender”]Tell us more about those dancing girls.
I’ve been looking for a new religion; this one sounds promising. :neutral:[/quote]
There are three small trucks that look like miniature Volkswagen vans but they have a flat back. In the middle of the back is a brass dancing pole just like in a stripper bar. The bikini girls are dancing around the pole is the truck drives down the street. And the girls are young and attractive by the way.
Some parade participants are available for rent for many parades. And the bikini girls are just another part of that rental.
I’ve seen the stripper girls before at new temple openings in South Taiwan but never in North Taiwan. I have also seen the strippers at weddings in South Taiwan.
The first time my father visited me in Tainan, we drove past a long funeral procession, and in the lead was one of those flatbed trucks with a bikini dancer gyrating away. He nearly drove off the road from laughter, and I believe it remains his favourite memory out of his numerous visits to the island.
The bikini girls were part of the Three God Temple (三聖宮) San Sheng Gong procession according to the banners on their vehicles. Its off of Wenchang Road, the furniture street, not far from Guangfu. It’s a fairly simple basic temple.
I think it’s a combination of one or both of these two things . 1) the people that are hired to be in the parade bring who and what they want to participate in the parade and 2), people in the neighborhood who attend the temple say they will bring what they want and maybe they want to bring the bikini girls.
Of course people in either of these two groups could be the Mafia also but it is not purely gangsters walking in and taking over the parade and forcing the dancing girls to come.
Besides, it just doesn’t have the taboo that people have when observing as an outsider from a long engrained Western perspective.
I haven’t read anything about the use of force yet, but I have read a source that speculates that gangsters may have been involved in the origins of the practice as it relates to funerals:
Edited to add:
I’ve deleted a Chinese-language part that, on closer examination, didn’t seem pertinent.
This snippet is from an e-mail list discussion archive from 1995:
[quote]By the way, the strippers were from local neighborhood brothels, and they had really scary-looking bodyguards with them to escort them back to work when they were through. I imagine that gangs must be involved in it somehow.
But I still haven’t found anything really solid on the subject. I’m not taking a side in the matter; I’m just saying I haven’t found anything.