We thought we had heard enough about death this past weekend during the Qingming Festival, but in an increasingly populated city bursting with residents, something oft-neglected when it comes to the logistics of city planning comes from the more morbid end of the spectrum. That’s right, we’re talking about funerals.
In these crazy economic times, the only thing more consistent than hearing daily reports of the stock market tumbling or watching hopelessly as one’s savings dwindle is something more primal and frightening: death.
Yep, no breaking news here–death is inevitable, and in a city that was recently reported to be China’s “oldest” (with the senior citizenry comprising a full 20% of the population), the death industry seems like something that will weather the current recession.
This is why the funeral industry is an increasingly popular option for recent Shanghai graduates, a few hundred of whom attended a job fair this week sponsored by several Shanghai funeral homes.
However, in a country where superstitions surrounding death is still prevalent, working for a funeral home often has its drawbacks. No no, we’re not talking about working with cadavers or smelling preserving fluids, we’re talking about the social stigma of working for a funeral home here in China.
Wang Hongjie, a representative from the Civil Affairs Bureau’s Funeral and Crematory Division, addressed the potential funeral parlor employees with these cautious words:
Working in the industry is considered morbid and I hope you are fully prepared and make a sensible choice…Most people in the industry don’t visit friends or relatives at Spring Festival because we are considered unlucky. We don’t visit patients at hospital either as their families will be afraid they’ll die after we visit.
Despite this, the career potential for the funeral industry seems to be
very alive thriving in a time mired with economic insecurity. If you’re looking for a job right now, you now know where to look.
Photo from onekell