Following a graffiti incident in Egypt, China is beginning to get embarrassed about it’s tourists’ obnoxious behaviour abroad.
On Friday a photo was posted online of graffiti at a Luxor temple in Egypt saying “Ding Jinhao was here.” Original, no. Obnoxious, yes. The actions of Ding Jinhao, the Chinese teenager who vandalized the ancient Egyptian artwork, caused outrage in China and the rest of the world.
Ding Jinhao’s parents have since apologized for the incident, after Chinese hackers identified the boy and posted his personal information online.
“We want to apologise to the Egyptian people and to people who have paid attention to this case across China,” Mr Ding’s mother told local newspaper Modern Express on Saturday.
Luckily, Egypt’s ministry of antiquities was quoted as saying the damage to the temple wall was superficial and measures were being taken to restore it. But the incident speaks to a larger problem which is, as one of China’s four vice-premiers, puts it, the “uncivilised behaviour” of some Chinese tourists harming the country’s image.
Vice premier Wang Yang recently scolded Chinese holiday habits:
“They speak loudly in public, carve characters on tourist attractions, cross the road when the traffic lights are still red, spit anywhere and [carry out] some other uncivilized behavior,” said Wang. “It damages the image of the Chinese people and has a very bad impact.”
Chinese tourism overseas is rapidly rising, boosted by new wealth and ever-improving exchange rates, and Chinese officials are becoming increasingly concerned. Reports of Chinese tourists behaving badly generally include spitting, littering, ignoring traffic laws, speaking loudly, and going to the bathroom where there is no bathroom. This has prompted a sign outside the Louvre in Paris which forbids people from urinating or defecating wherever they want. The sign is only written in Chinese.
Some chalk up this behaviour to naivety and cultural misunderstanding. After all, many tourists may be travelling overseas for the first time and are not really aware of any cultural etiquette. While not sh*tting in public seems like a no-brainer to most, others need a sign to tell them. At the very least, it’s taken the heat off of American tourists who are perceived to be loud and obnoxious. Maybe it’s a superpower right of passage: before you can become a superpower you must first have obnoxious tourists that make everyone hate your country.
Via: BBC News