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These women dress up in elaborate costumes to send off the dead

Why I Do What I Do is an original AsiaOne series where we showcase people with uncommon professions and what it takes to get there. In Why I Do What I Do: Asia, a nine-part spin-off, we scour the region for more unconventional jobs and the stories of the people behind them.

With their beaded gowns and elaborate headdresses, Taiwanese 'li shengs' wouldn't look too out of place at a gala dinner. But you're more likely to find them at a funeral or a temple.

Also known as associates of religious rites, these women ensure that the proceedings at religious events and funerals run smoothly — a job that often means standing for long hours without dropping their smiles.

From putting up with naysayers to keeping their composure in heavy headdresses, they tell AsiaOne what it takes to do their job.

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