Opinion / From the Readers

Mainland tourists not to blame

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-12 09:16

To be fair, we do not know whether the Chinese mainland parents who allowed their toddler son to urinate in a Hong Kong street had tried and failed to force him to hang on until they could find a public toilet. It could be argued that the parents chose a far more sensible approach than to subject their child to physical pain or to carry him around in urine-soaked pants throughout the day.

The media focus on the uncivil behavior of some tourists from the mainland has added to the unfair impression that they are only ones who display deplorable habits while traveling overseas.

With mainland tourists favoring group tours for now, lack of respect for local cultural mores will be abetted by the herd mentality that encourages groups to behave bullishly.

I have suffered abuse at the hands of drunken Australians on the London Tube and have been within earshot of loudly complaining, culturally ignorant Americans in Egypt. In this context, the errant ways of mainland tourists could be part of crowd behavior that forces agreement and makes the bias inherent in burgeoning crowds more noticeable.

On a positive note, it is laudable that the Chinese mainland is trying to enforce civil codes on its citizens traveling abroad. I cannot foresee Australia or the United States doing the same with their marauding citizens.

Joseph Y.S.Ting, from Australia, via e-mail

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