Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An Article I Found


China launches bid to teach good manners


Thousands of Chinese declared war on queue-jumping and other social ills yesterday as they fanned out across Beijing on a mission to eradicate bad manners ahead of the 2008 Olympics.
Under the slogan "New Beijing, Great Olympics", the Games are being touted as the coming-out party for an emerging super-power that is beginning to flex its muscles on the world stage.


Mascots at the Beijing promotion for civilized behavior
But the commonplace sights of spitting, queue-jumping and littering are deemed detrimental to the city's image.
So yesterday, armed with banners and loudspeakers, red-sashed volunteers barked orders at those deemed to be letting the side down.
Meng Xinglan, 68, was one of thousands yesterday who raised her right hand in a clenched-fist salute pledging allegiance to the campaign.
"I pledge to queue up voluntarily and to be a civilised citizen... to win glory for the homeland and bring honour for the Olympics," she recited.
Yang Weisen, 55, a former mechanic who was maintaining order at a bus stop, said: "Most of Beijing's people are pretty polite, but a few are not. We can always improve."
The slogan across his red sash read: "Don't queue-jump, wait in line."
The organisers of the Games have earned widespread praise for their overall competence. However, concern has been building that crude behaviour including pushing and shoving at bus stops and spitting in the street could take the gloss off that image.
Last year, the city government launched a "smile" campaign, and it has set up etiquette courses to teach shopkeepers and other service industry workers such as taxi drivers how to be more polite and welcoming to foreigners.

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