Police in Colombia have turned to the power of memes to promote social distancing. The officers took to the streets in the city of Quibdóon on April 15th, carrying a coffin and dancing to live music.
This, of course, immediately drawn the residents’ attention. While they were filming and cheering up the dancing policemen, two other National Police officers wheeled out portable bathroom sinks to demonstrate the proper hand-washing technique. Another policeman was making an announcement through a megaphone, asking the public to stay home and remember the quarantine.
All participants of that public service announcement were wearing masks and gloves.
The coffin dance itself was not a random extravagant act, but an homage to a viral footage of a funeral ceremony in the Republic of Ghana. The video shows several smartly dressed men carrying a coffin to a cemetery while dancing to lively music. Their routine included some really impressive tricks, like sitting on the ground and grooving to the beat while the coffin rested on their shoulders.
This tradition gained worldwide attention back in 2015 after being captured by an YouTube video blogger Traveling Sister. In 2017 the BBC released a documentary short titled “Ghana’s Dancing Pallbearers Bring Funeral Joy” that explored the phenomena. This ceremony was born because local families wanted their loved ones’ final journey to not be grim, but remarkable.
“The Ghana Funeral” video resurfaced yet again as a meme in Spring of 2020, becoming a TikTok meme.