Beijing’s subway is not known for its calm, quiet atmosphere. No, the word most often associated with the efficient mass transportation system is crowded. Sometimes people throw massively in front to further illustrate what happens when you’re transporting seven million people daily throughout a metropolis.
Yesterday, however, the Beijing subway took to its official Weibo account to blame the severe overcrowding and general messiness of the subway on the ‘locusts’, a pejorative term used by Hongkongers to describe people from mainland China. To complete the post was a photo of an empty Beijing subway car littered with trash. From their Weibo account via South China Morning Post:
“After a ‘locust’ invasion, line 10 is a mess,” it posted on Sunday morning just after 11am. “The capital city has always been applauded for its high tolerance, but sometimes, being too accepting is the biggest problem. Regarding behaviour that damages Beijing, we just want to say: ‘you are not welcome here!'”
The post topped over 6,000 comments and 6,000 retweets respectively before being taken down later that day. China’s netizens weren’t too pleased with the post, especially the non-locals themselves.
“People living in big cities are so clever. With just a glimpse, they can tell all the litter is from non-locals,” one user noted sarcastically.
According to the Beijing Times, The Beijing subway blamed the scathing post on an “inexperienced young editor”, and was only meant to raise awareness about uncivil subway-riding behavior.
Moreover, the original photographer had no idea the picture he took was being used to slam non-Beijingers. “I just wanted to say it was very messy in the carriage, which has nothing to do with [the issue of] locals or non-locals,” he claimed.
[Image Credit: Pam Hule]
By Lauren Holdcroft