The Chinese Hordes Explain Themselves

With respect to the blanket coverage in Hong Kong about the behavior of mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong Disneyland (The Chinese Hordes Take Over Disneyland), Information Times (via Yahoo! News) captured some reactions from Chinese citizens.

Op-ed Column: Do Not Look For Excuses On Behalf Of Bad Customs

The report by Information Times on various inappropriate behaviors by mainland Chinese visitors at Hong Kong Disneyland became a hot topic.  My commentary yesterday titled "Bad Customs At Disneyland Create Embarrassment" received attention from netizens.  Some agreed with my viewpoint while others objected.  It seemed that the opinions are divided into extreme opposing camps with irreconciliable differences and conflicts.  But no matter which camp, the focus is undoubtedly on the discussion of the quality of Chinese people.

So what really is quality?  What are bad customs?  What is civilization?  A netizen wrote that it all depends on the standards of evaluation and then concluded that our lifestyle customs determine our speeches and deeds, which are unrelated to quality.

I agree that "lifestyle customs determine our speeches and deeds" but I still insist that the bad habits in our lives should not become customary norms.  A rational and civilized person should have the ability to control oneself and not offer any excuses for bad behavior.  But in practice, many people have become inured to bad habits such as spitting everywhere, jumping in queues and talking loudly.  The bad customers had no compunction whatsoever in behaving as they do, and the observers are numbed to all the bad behaviors around them.  The absence of public awareness and self-discipline allowed uncivilized behavior to proliferate.

No matter what, it is an undeniable fact that the awareness of civilized behavior and the elimination of bad habits are required for mainland tourists.  Some netizens used cultural differences, imperfect arrangements at Disneyland and even the inappropriateness of applying western standards to defend bad habits, and this is depressing.  Bad habits should be reformed and uncivilized behavior should be eliminated.  If we cannot even accept these criticisms, how can we claim to be a country of manners?  Where is our self-respect?

Of course, my commentary did not intend to condemn all mainland tourists.  I have no right to do so.  Besides, as a resident of a mainland city, I cannot guarantee that my quality is higher than others.  But to move towards civilization is what any rational person should do, and that includes you, me and every Chinese person.