Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

What happens when one dogma tries to replace another. Communism tried to supplant ancient Chinese mystical beliefs, only to have them resurge with the reforms being made. This market in corpses has led to a bizarre incentive for murder. This is not proof that the communists need to be more firm. Though it is proof that communism has done nothing to move China into the modern world with scientific beliefs. Perhaps this is mostly a problem in villages with low out-of-country communication. From Boing Boing.

Parts of rural China are seeing a burgeoning market for female corpses, the result of the reappearance of a strange custom called “ghost marriages”. Chinese tradition demands that husbands and wives always share a grave. Sometimes, when a man died unmarried, his parents would procure the body of a woman, hold a “wedding” and bury the couple together.

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The communists discouraged burials and suppressed ghost marriages as “feudal superstition”. Yet ancient beliefs die hard. As Marxism wanes, burials are reappearing—and so are corpse brides.

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This January he was arrested again and confessed to strangling six women and selling their bodies. Killing for corpses, he said, was an easier way to make money than digging them out of the ground.

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