Japanese paper complains of foul manners from Chinese at Hong Kong Disneyland

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.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2005 10:22 AM
This isn't that goofy, as I've read at least a couple of first-hand accounts from westerners that say almost exactly the same thing.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2005 10:37 AM
Unlike Disney theme parks across the world, including Tokyo Disneyland, lines appear to mean little in the latest Magical Kingdom, where queue jumping is a given, the rag says.

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 ***

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Tuesday, December 6, 2005 1:04 PM
/\ You obviously don't know how bad the situation really is. It's not like everyday occasional line jumping at a Six Flags park. I have read opening day trip reports where line cutting was so ridiculous that the American visitors wanted to leave. Mainland Chinese parents would lift their children over the gaurd rail into the queue and climb over themselves, without regard to the some 150+ other people behind them that have already been queing for the past 20 some minutes.*** This post was edited by kRaXLeRidAh 12/6/2005 1:05:13 PM ***
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Tuesday, December 6, 2005 3:15 PM
I've posted this trip report link in similar threads, but it bears repeating; this is EXACTLY what I experienced when I was there. The Chinese simply have no respect for everyone else.

http://www.bannister.org/coasters/trips/2005/0917.htm

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Tuesday, December 6, 2005 8:29 PM
I'm all for tolerance and understandng of cultural differences, but I'm afriad I'd have no respect nor patience for that. Richard summed it up, it's all about respect for other folks.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2005 9:33 PM
Are they sure it just wasn't acers in disguise?
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Tuesday, December 6, 2005 11:35 PM
As Americans, it is our duty to tolerate and make every effort to understand cultures that are different than ours. When somebody cuts in line, pisses in public, blows themselves up, etc, we need to concentrate on the underlying causes of such behaviors and make certain to not pass judgment. The only acceptable judgment is to blame Western culture and the USA… There has to be a good reason that these individuals find reason to line cut, etc… It certainly would not be fair to pass judgment on an entire group of people based upon the actions of a few (or in this case a few thousand).
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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 12:21 AM
Blame the USA because Chinese people line cut? I don't follow your logic.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 1:30 AM
What he's getting at is that there are always underlying environmental, cultural and financial reasons that people do things. We as a nation suck at identifying the cause of problems and concentrate instead on dealing with the outcome.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 6:23 AM
Unless you're an American. Then the reason is just because we're rude, lazy and pompous. :)
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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 8:30 AM
We received specialized training on cultural differences when I started working at WDW. I don't remember everything but I do remember being told that there are some South American countries where the person with the most money gets served first. So, if we were working in a store we shouldn't be surprised if a guy waving a big wad of cash pushed his way to the front of the line.

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.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 8:31 AM
And don't forget that we all look alike, Gemini ;).
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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 9:27 AM
Jeff R Smith's post sounded like sarcasm to me, not pointing out that we suck at identifying the cause of problems.

I know the cause of the problems, these people don't have respect for anyone else.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 10:07 AM
Me...sarcastic? :-)
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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 12:50 PM
Quote: Richard Bannister, et. al.

"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.

</rant>

*** This post was edited by ApolloAndy 12/7/2005 1:25:30 PM ***

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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 1:14 PM
On one hand, you say, "Passing judgement shows ignorance and arrogance more than superiority or civility." On the other hand, you spend an entire paragraph explaining how the Chinese would have the same kind of reaction to these misunderstandings. Doesn't it work both ways?

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 ***

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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 1:21 PM
Yes. It does work both ways. Chinese people saying that would be just as judgemental and ignorant. However, that doesn't make our cultural practices wrong or disrespectful as many seem to think Chinese cultural practices are. I'm going to continue speeding, no matter what any Chinese tourists say! ;) :-P

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 ***

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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 1:57 PM
Maybe it's not an accurate perception, but it just seems like if an American did something considered rude in another country, that would be arrogant. But if another culture does something considered rude, then we need to "understand" them.

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?

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Wednesday, December 7, 2005 2:18 PM
I think you bring up an excellent point. Perhaps the difference is the willingness to understand other cultures (which transcends the cultural argument - i.e. is just plain right, regardless of culture or upbringing).

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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