Beijing spitting

Mar 4th, 2006, 08:55 AM
  #1  
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Beijing spitting

Hi

My wife and I went to China a couple of years ago (see http://gardkarlsen.com/china_beijing.htm) and one of the things we noticed was the constant spitting. I guess I can't blame the people because there was a lot of dust in the air...I won't go into detailed how it looked when I blew my nose after walking around in Beijing all day . I read in the paper yesterday that the Chinese authoreties are trying to get people to stop spitting everywhere in connection with the Olympics and people will be fined about 7 $ if they spit and get caught. Instead they will get little bags to spit in.

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Mar 4th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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Hi

Found an article about it by the way: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/...8G2OUEO0.shtml

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Mar 4th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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pat
 
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Now if we can just get baseball players in this country to stop spitting! I can`t see that it serves any useful purpose, and the air certainly isn`t dusty! People in this country don`t walk around spitting, so what`s with these baseball players? Yuk!
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Mar 4th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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emd
 
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Gard: Is spitting perhaps a more basic cultural thing in China more so than a dust-in-the-air thing? My husband was involved in a Chinese-American cultural society once and we had some Chinese over for dinner. There were a lot of new cultural experiences for me during that meal, slurping, etc. Maybe spitting is the same type of cultural thing?

I do see men in the U.S. spitting. Not on the streets, but interestingly they (fathers) seem to do it a lot at my son's baseball games (from little league on up).
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Mar 4th, 2006, 06:06 PM
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I will say that the spitting seems to be less in Beijing already then in some other areas...and there's nothing that quite prepares you for hearing that enormous throat-clearing hock and turning around to see that it emanated from a tiny, delicate-looking lady. From what I've read, it is considered somewhat of a, for want of a better term, "hick" thing to do.
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Mar 5th, 2006, 01:32 AM
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Hi

Yes, the throat-clearing sounds was also quite an experience My wife hates it when people do that and we got to hear it quite a lot in Beijing.

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Mar 5th, 2006, 02:27 AM
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Paul Theroux's Riding the Iron Rooster had a fantastic description of Chinese spitting.
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Mar 5th, 2006, 06:46 AM
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As manners preparation for the Olympic games, stiff penalties for spitting are going to be (or have just been) imposed.
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Mar 5th, 2006, 08:14 AM
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Its bad enough we have to listen to them eat!
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Mar 5th, 2006, 04:38 PM
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spitting isn't a cultural thing in the same regard as slurping or burping at a meal (in some cultures). Its a cultural thing in the same regard as they let their kids defecate on the street. YOu ahve to understand that basically the city was built up around them. they aren't folk in the way we would think of it so in one sense the "hick" reference isn;t too far askew.

I thought the fine was a hell of a lot more than $7 though.
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Mar 5th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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You get it in Thailand too, that noisy throat clearing. Also blowing out the nostrils one by one in the street. Actually several Asians have told me they find it disgusting that farangs blow their noses into a piece of cloth and then put it back in their pocket and carry it around with them.
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Mar 5th, 2006, 05:58 PM
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What about squatting? Like when waiting for the bus?

I think to many visitors to the Olympics Games, that's as disgusting as spitting.
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Mar 5th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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"...they aren't folk in the way we would think of it.."

Could you clarify that comment, please, bhuty?
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Mar 6th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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I find spitting to be totally repulsive. When I see people do it in NY, such as onto the subway tracks, I want to throw up. Oddly enough, I don't recall seeing it too much in China when I was there 5 years ago.

It's funny you should mention blowing one's nose. When I went to Japan, I had read that the Japanese find that to be disgusting, so every time I had to blow mine, I would run and find a ladies room so I wouldn't insult anyone's sensibilities.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 03:02 PM
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The constant spitting by both men and women (but mostly men) was very noticable and very disgusting. The thing that got me was that the spitting was not just outdoors but indoor as well, in fact EVERYWHERE...trains, shops...I was dumbfounded by that.

I don't think the dust has anything to do with it though. India is probably more dustu and I didn't see constant spitting (insstead I saw frequent publication urination).

I know they're trying to curb the spitting because when I was there about 3 years ago, they had signs all of the place that said 'no spitting'...hahah that was too funny.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 06:17 PM
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Maybe I meant "they aren't CITY folk"

and askew isn't the right word either
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Mar 8th, 2006, 07:16 PM
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i was going to mention riding the iron rooster too. texas slim!! it never fails to make me laugh. also, at the beginning of the book he mentions a chinese proverb about how if all the chinese in the world (or is it china ?) were to spit, we would be able to drown our enemies!!

i dont know why the chinese have to spit so much. as we interact with more people outside our culture, it becomes less acceptable. but squatting is offensive to some?! why? a lot of asia squats. i dont do it in public but i dont find it offensive when i see it.
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Mar 8th, 2006, 09:18 PM
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Well, at least the editors deleted that troll post - but trolls aside, am I the only one here who feels this thread is starting to take on a Chinese-bashing air? How about a few comments on the (many) good characteristics of the Chinese people?
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Mar 9th, 2006, 05:35 AM
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I recall reading that some Mongoloid races have a skull structure that limits operation of the sinuses, and this can lead to problems with mucus.
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Mar 9th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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I think many visitors will find that the younger generation of Chinese, who live in the more affluent large coastal cities, will have the best manner. In fact, when my dad (age 71) gets on a bus in many cities, young people will often give him their seat. That's very surprising, as my dad's very fit, and doesn't get seats offered to him in Hong Kong, Europe or elsewhere. [Well, he doesn't use the bus here in Houston, but I do, and I'm like the only person who will offer seats to the elderly, pregnant women, or people with young kids.]

Anyways, public manners of Chinese people have improved a lot in the last 20 years. I remember that it was impossible for me to get on any bus when I was a kid; or getting any service at a restaurant.

But the improvement isn't universal. People will still cut into your line, say, if you're buying a ticket for the Beijing subway. Or that people everywhere still talk very loud. And I mean everywhere.
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