Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2005 9:50 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Though Japan's already prickly relations with China didn't need to be inflamed any further, Shukan Post -- one of the country's top-selling weeklies -- has come out with a goofy rant about the foul manners Chinese are displaying at Hong Kong Disneyland. Park operators acknowledge there has been a bit of cultural friction.
Read more from Mainichi Daily News.
Anybody who frequently visits Orlando or Anaheim would realize that lines do not mean much to a percentage of certain cultures...nothing new here!
Outcry at Hong Kong Disneyland over Chinese pissing and spitting everywhere
For a minute I thought I was reading another SFMM thread...
Hong Kong Disneyland operators acknowledge there has been a bit of cultural friction."It's a fact that we have received complaints about bad-mannered guests since we opened in September," a park spokesman tells Shukan Post. "However, we have people from a variety of cultural backgrounds coming to the park, so it's understandable that there are all different types of behavior. We train out staff in dealing with this situation."
With such firm commitment from park staff (you can tell they mean business) to ensure that guests follow the rules and adhere to basic decency standards…I’m sure it will be no time before they clean this place up! I can’t wait to visit!
*** This post was edited by Jeffrey R Smith 12/6/2005 10:37:53 AM ***
We were then told to ask the person nicely to return to the back of the line and explain how we do things here in the States. It didn't always work.
I know the cause of the problems, these people don't have respect for anyone else.
"The Chinese simply have no respect for everyone else."
I am really frustrated by this comment and this rant isn't specifically aimed at Richard but at anyone who rushes to judge other cultures.
For one, this comment makes an overgeneralization to, what, 1/5 of the world's population? Maybe it's just me, but that seems like kind of a stretch (given that I happen to be Chinese as well).
Secondly, it's drawing a broad conclusion from cultural practices that we happen to not understand. For instance, in Chinese culture, it is considered rude to sit down at the table before everyone older than you sits down. If you went to a nice dinner in China and sat down first, the Chinese would say "Those Americans don't respect anyone. They sit down too early." Or, for instance, in Chinese culture, taking care of your parents and grandparents personally is considered a duty and an honor. Putting them in a nursing/retirement home would be considered a disgrace. So if Chinese people came here and saw how many of our elderly are in nursing homes, they'd say "Those Americans have no respect. They don't care about the wisdom of their elders. They just try to get them out of the way so they can get what they want." Or, for example, if certain Chinese people somehow made it to the US, they'd see us all speeding all the time and say "Americans have no respect for the government or their own laws. They just break them all the time."
Admittedly, a theme park needs to have proper line management in order to function, but perhaps that's more an indication of Disney's lack of understanding of Chinese culture (putting the park there in the first place).
These comments (made by a Japanese newpaper which certainly already had preconceived notions about China), whether or not they are accurate, are not an indication of lack of respect by Chinese people. They're an indication of lack of *cultural understanding*. Queing up in line is not a part of many Chinese subcultures (as I understand it), just as sitting down in a certain order at the table is not a part of American subcultures. Passing judgement shows ignorance and arrogance more than superiority or civility.
And in the world's eye, guess which country is notorious for being rude, arrogant, and disrespectful? Yep, I'm an American too.
*** This post was edited by ApolloAndy 12/7/2005 1:25:30 PM ***
And doesn't it seem like common sense to adopt the cultural norms of the country you are visiting?
*** This post was edited by Gemini 12/7/2005 1:14:50 PM ***
It is nice to imagine that a person could adopt the cultural practices of a country he/she was visiting, but in many cases it's impossible without first sticking your foot in your mouth/offending a whole bunch of people.*** This post was edited by ApolloAndy 12/7/2005 1:22:42 PM ****** This post was edited by ApolloAndy 12/7/2005 1:27:47 PM ***
Can you imagine if Americans did not understand the concept of a queue and were line jumping? Do you think anyone would say we just need to understand Americans better?
My perception (warning - huge over generalization ahead) is an American tourist goes somewhere else and sees something different and says "That's stupid. America is better." Whereas a typical tourist from another culture might say "That's interesting. I wonder why they do it that way."
Yes, other cultures should try to understand why Americans seem so disrespectful and Americans should try to understand why other cultures think were all a-holes, Chinese Disney patrons should try to understand why lines are important and Japanese new paper reporters should try to understand why Chinese people ignore lines.
Passing judgement (on any side of any coin) or lack of willingness to understand is something that (in the final twist of irony) also needs to be understood.
Once we understand each other, then we can work together to meet everyone's needs rather than just judging each other - and flowers will bloom and rainbows will appear and birds will chirp ;).
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