Friday, October 27, 2006

Chinese shame

Traffic in most big Chinese cities is chaotic. Cars often occupy the bicycle lane for avoiding traffic jam and threatens the safety of bike users. Has anyone thought of acting as traffic police?

A few days ago in Beijing a foreign lady blocked cars from entering the bicycle lane and directed them to move back to car lane. One of the drivers cursed her and even threatened to hurt her. But she insisted and the drivers moved their cars back to the car lane. A blogger took some photos of this incident and posted a story on his/her blog. It was then covered by Nanfang Daily.

The media coverage shocked Chinese people's nationalist nerve. It aroused internet users' criticism of that driver and appreciation of the lady's civic quality and courage. Many felt ashamed of "the low quality of Chinese people's civic morality". They argued that incredibly high economic growth has not brought out any improvement in civic morality for Chinese people such as queuing, complying with traffic law, and giving seats to people in need on public transport. Instead, Chinese people, who earn more and more money, care less and less about civic morality. More and more encounters between China and foreign countries results in more exposure of misbehavior of Chinese people to the world.

Hope this small incident could help us improve our civic quality.

Photo: scribeoflight

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