Over the past millennium and across the length and breadth of China and beyond, people have been burning paper replicas of the material world to send to their deceased family members, ancestors, and myriads of imaginary beings. The paper replicas, which include all types of goods and treasures, mostly old and new forms of money, is commonly referred to as the paper money custom. Studies of the paper money custom have neglected the native opposition to it, especially that of the contemporary intelligentsia, one form of which consists of news reports and human interest stories in the popular press that lampoon the practice of burning paper money. Many stories lampoon the paper money custom by showing how it burlesques traditional virtues such as filial piety. One of the interesting maneuvers in this criticism is how it employs the old and newer kinds of paper monies to shape the response of the readers.

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