Monday, October 23, 2006

Yao Ming: Chinese must be more polite

By Grant Clark SINGAPORE, Bloomberg

Yao Ming, China's most popular athlete and a three-time NBA All-Star, said his countrymen must stop jumping queues, speak more quietly in restaurants and generally improve manners ahead of the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"I suggest we work on our public courtesy," Yao told the official Beijing 2008 magazine. "Such courtesies are no small matter. They are the sign of an internationalized host nation with a great cultural tradition."

Beijing Olympic and government officials have started an etiquette campaign targeting habits such as queue-jumping and spitting in the buildup to the 17-day sports event starting Aug. 8, 2008. The Chinese Olympic Committee president this year said good manners should be "at the top of our agenda."

The 7-foot-5 Yao, whose comments will be published in the next edition of Beijing 2008, urged China to move into line with international standards of behavior.

"For example, Westerners lower their voices in restaurants so as not to bother other people," Yao said. "Jumping ahead in queues is a definite no-no. Motorists should follow traffic rules, respect pedestrians and stop to let them pass first."

Chinese authorities last month listed mainland tourists' bad habits in a move to encourage better manners before the Olympics, state news agency Xinhua reported. Those included "taking off socks and shoes in public" and "bad temper and cursing."

The 26-year-old Yao, who plays for the Houston Rockets, said China's service industries should be "more internationally minded" during the Olympics and follow the example of the past two Summer Games.

"In Sydney and Athens the service people were very nice," he said. "They smiled and said 'Hello' to you but they also gave the athletes lots of personal space, they did not bother them. I hope the Olympic staff in Beijing will learn from such foreign practices."

I agree fully with Yao Ming. These days it's all about creating an experience. You may have the most beautiful buildings in the world, with the most vile behaviour, it would still leave a very bad impression. I wonder why is it that some Chinese can be so uncivilised when China always pride herself as a civilised nation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether civilised or not is relative isn't it? China will be considered very civilised compared to an uncivilised fundamentalistic country like the USA right?

8:20 AM  
Blogger China man said...

Well, maybe I should rephrase it as service quality. The service industry and quality in US is really much higher than China.

12:22 AM  

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