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.
He intends to be an undertaker, a good job in many places, but one that is generally shunned in China due to traditions that make death unmentionable and lead many to steer clear of those working in the industry, fearing they carry bad luck.
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.