Asian Ways of Being Respectful of Others In Public

A foreign visitor lost his way in a local Chinese town dragging his heavy wheeled baggage in the evening, while he was given direction and being led to the right direction in the relative quieter alleys in the neighborhood, he lifted and hold on to the luggage along the way with considerable amount of physical strains, the local was curious “why didn’t you put it down and drag along to ease the burden.” “I afraid disturbing the neighbors with the sound made between the plastic wheels and the pavement.” Being considerate and respectful of others in public area is probably the last thing on general Chinese mind and one would wonder why particularly with armies of newly affluent Chinese tourists waving their thick wad of cash loudly hunting for bargains worldwide, turning heads in the upscale shopping area. Like a flock of unfailing high pitch tweeting birds swamped through an area, loaded themselves up with handful of fruitful items like there is no tomorrow and left as suddenly as they arrived.

There are logical explanations behind the seemingly perceived disrespectful rude phenomena, and this behavior can be transformed for the better given opportunities and time.

Majority of Chinese are unrelenting outspoken and courageous to stand up for their fair treatment as most were brought up in authoritative environment, with 1.3billion population and growing, average Chinese had limited personal living vicinity, situation was worsen for city dwellers with less than satisfactory living conditions due to the stunning ever escalating living expenses particularly on accommodation. One had to had the guts to fight for visibility for a chance of fair treatments either in employments and or inevitable resources like inflationary items of foods, medical, family planning and transportation. With hundreds of Million of peoples all laying their hands on the same limited resources and without an effective and fair relationship independent system for allocating them, everyone had to fight for their own fair chance of ensuring basic survivors thought alternative means. Either for a crucial surgical appointment or a good position in a private or public company, favoritism is still being practiced although the authority had done much to mitigate the phenomena. It’s as simple as demands overtakes supplies and everyone are reluctance to settle for less although sometimes its probably the best outcomes. There are enough for what are needed, but insufficient to match the desires and greed widely publicized and worshiped in the main stream media.

Therefore its not unusual to observe the vast scale of loud speaking rural workers making a tough living in cities, in the elevators, public transports, restaurants, waiting areas and so on either on the mobile phones or with one another, there simply no room to be considerate for others. In fact, there are two type of largely homogeneous Han Chinese in the modern era, the well to do established and secured natives of cities area and the catching up rural residents trying to secure a reasonable chances of decent livelihood for themselves and their families, it didn’t help where city dwellers had special privileges for housing, schooling and jobs as all Chinese citizens are registered with the local government with “ HuKuo”户口“ for population zoning control, a family registered with a outskirt village had near to zero chance to be fully settled in the City of their choice as they simply cant enroll their children to local schools and was placed on the lowest priority when it comes to allocating of resources by local government. In facts, during the Bejing 2008 Olympic, hundred of thousand of local “foreigners” had to be evacuated to create a perfect roomy city of peace and harmony for thousand of foreign delegates and visitors during the game.

As a results, given an environment of abundant resources and less paranoid competition and of course with a perspective focusing on less materialistic with higher level of sense of security, Chinese can be as respectful of one another in public as any western counterparts that had outpaced China years ahead in economic and social progress. One must be understanding of  the transitional adjustment they going through and being seeming loud and rude occasionally in public avenues had no genuine intentions to degrade others as this practice are common in the rapid economical shifts shaping social behaviors in hundreds of cities in China everyday.  It’s their way of life making a living in the increasing competitive environment.


Uncle Garfied enjoys his hot chocolate at Charlie Brown Cafe@313 Somerset. Orchard Road, Singapore.



1 thought on “Asian Ways of Being Respectful of Others In Public

  1. China is developing its economy, but it is developing its wealth gap as well. Population bigger; similar goes to the gap. As Chinese ethic too, hope that there is no wealth gap in the future, at least not wide.

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