A family of mainland Chinese tourists visiting Hong Kong have come under fire after video of their child taking a leak on a local street exploded online and stoked the fires of mainland/HK resentment. Just imagine if it had been #2…
There are many videos of the incident floating around online, and are filled with enough shouting, pushing, and peeing to make a hardened street mob blush:
You can only watch so many of these, but for another angle (and some slightly inflamatory subtitles) this one works as well:
This incident has gotten far more traction that it deserves on social media, and people are pissed (get it?). Sina ran a poll that was picked up by the Wall Street Journal, to test the waters on the issue, and the responses (perhaps predictably) were overwhelmingly favorable to the pint-sized pee-er:
As the South China Morning Post reports:
Online reactions were very much polarised. The majority of online users in mainland China say they found the parents’ behaviour understandable as they had tried to find a toilet for their child.
“How many toddlers can hold on long enough when they want to relieve themselves?” said a commentator, who asked critics to show more tolerance of the parents.
Some pointed to a photo of the child relieving himself at the scene, which appeared to show the mother using a paper nappy to catch the urine, rather than simply allowing the toddler to relieve himself on the ground.
Other online users took a step further and condemned critics of the parents for “taking the moral high ground,” adding that their expectation of tourists unfamiliar with the city to find a public toilet in a short space of time was over the top.
A number of others even questioned if the photographers could be accused of taking indecent pictures of a young child.
But still many blasted the parents for their lack of basic public decency.
“This is such a humiliating act of mainland tourists in Hong Kong,” one comment read. Several others posted photos of mainland parents letting their children relieve themselves in public from other occasions.
Chinese tourists getting into trouble abroad (well, quasi-abroad) is common and only occasionally so scatological: a group of mainland tourists were criticized earlier this month for throwing a hissy fit at a HK hotel, some lovely Hong Kongers held an “Anti-Locust” march in February, and, in a related note, quite a few Taiwanese bloggers got angry last year after a mainland tourist’s toddler took a shit in the middle of the Taiwan airport.
Hong Kongers have called the family’s behavior “uncivilized,” while anyone who has walked down a crowded street in China knows that seeing the occasional toddler gleefully relieving itself on a tree, bush, or curb is just a part of the job.
[Image via Want China Times]