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Bad behaviour mars 'golden week' holiday
By Zhang Feng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-05 07:23

A young couple toss their empty drinks bottles to the floor as they enjoy a street performance in Shanghai; a tourist spits on the flagstones in Tian'anmen Square in Beijing.

It seems that for many, inadvertent anti-social behaviour is taking the gleam from the golden mood of the ongoing national holiday.

In tourist spots across the country, overflowing with visitors during this week's holidays, bad manners are a common occurrence.

Rude behaviour spitting, littering and other impolite or anti-social acts are long-standing problems in China.

And they can be found en masse during the "golden week" holidays. Beijing resident Ma Zhigang told China Daily yesterday: "I really think it is a shame for Beijing and our country when I see Chinese tourists spit in Tian'anmen Square in front of so many foreign visitors."

At thousands of tourist sites nationwide, the garbage left by visitors has become a major headache for those charged with clearing up.

Why? Poor public education and lax enforcement of existing regulations and rules are two reasons that have been raised.

As China continues to modernize, many good traditions have been left at the roadside with the rubbish, while some less agreeable practices have been kept, said Xu Xiang, an expert from Nanjing Normal University.

Many cities in China have regulations imposing large fines on people who spit in public.

"However, you still see many people spitting all over the place," Xu said.

Moreover, the bad manners are generally coming from Chinese tourists, which shows the country on a bad light, said a guide surnamed Fang who is based in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Some tourists also raised the point that some Chinese travellers carry their bad manners overseas with them.

They walk through the lobbies of hotels in slippers and night clothes, and belch or pick their teeth without the slightest consideration for where they are, Chinese Business View reported.

(China Daily 10/05/2005 page2)

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