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Chinese undertakers brave fear, stigma to honor dead

Carlos Barria / Reuters

Students attend an undertaker service class at the Tianquanjiajing Funeral Service school in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province.

Carlos Barria / Reuters

Students from Tianquanjiajing Funeral Service school bow in front of a plastic mannequin as they begin an undertaker service class.

Carlos Barria / Reuters

Students practice with a mannequin during their undertaker service class.

Reuters reports: Zeng Liangliang faced strong opposition from his family when he first told them his plans for a job, despite being guaranteed employment with a good salary right out of school. But Zeng is one of a new breed of young and confident Chinese undertakers fighting centuries-old taboos to gain social acceptance for their profession, saying they help the deceased and their families make their final parting with respect.

"At first, my dad was very against me going into such a profession. He did not understand why I would want to take up such a job, and did not support me at all," said the 22-year-old student in Jiaxing, eastern Zhejiang province. Continue reading.

 

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Carlos Barria / Reuters

Students practice with a volunteer during an undertaker service class.

Carlos Barria / Reuters

Students practice with a mannequin during their undertaker service class.