Wing: We ARE DISCRIMINATING against you because you are IMPOLITE!
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, Written by 翼雙飛 (Wing Wing)
I was shopping in the supermarket. The cashier asked a middle-aged woman in Cantonese, "$15.5, please." And that woman replied arrogantly in Mandarin, "What the hell are you saying, I don't understand."
I am often asked for directions by many mainland tourists. They usually asked loudly, "Hey, how can I get to Convention and Exhibition Centre?" Neither do they address others, nor gratitude at all. It seems that everyone is their servant.
When you go to a place where the culture and language differs from yours, you should respect the locals no matter you are here to travel or stay/immigrate. This is the meaning of 'do in Rome as the Romans do'. Treating locals as pariah and being egoistic are the culprits of them being called 'locusts'.
I would not say every mainlanders are locusts, and I know some decent mainlanders. They integrate in local culture and learn Cantonese once they start to work in Hong Kong. They dare to speak although they might have accent. But those arrogant mainlanders are the majority, so the notoriety of mainlanders are well-known with unpopularity around the globe.
When mainland tourists and new arrivals claim they are 'discriminated', REFLECT UPON YOURSELVES why are you always to bull's eye, while Hongkongers might often be mistaken as Japanese or Taiwanese? A Hongkonger, a Japanese, a Taiwanese and a Chinese look alike as an Asian, but people often spot out mainlanders quickly, because people "discriminate" against your behaviour, not your nationality.
Take me as an example. I was asking for direction with my friends to Frenchmen, who are known for their arrogance. Of course we can't speak French. We nodded and smiled, and said Bonjour! Usually they replied Bonjour as well, then we started asking in English or body languages. Nobody gave us a cold shoulder because we speak only English, and they are willing to answer us in English.
Germans are known for their seriousness, and usually older Germans do not speak English. My friend and I were going to a church in a village, and we saw a granny. We nodded and said, Guten Tag! And then asked, 'Church?' She couldn't understand, and luckily we asked the German for Church, and we asked again: 'Kirche?'
The granny smiled and pointed the way for us. We expressed our gratitude by replying 'Danke!'. We felt her warmth.
Aren't France and Germany affected by Chinese? Mainland Chinese squat everywhere and yet buy lots of famous handbags in Paris, and grabbing milk formula in Germany as well. Why am I, as an Asian, not discriminated? This reflects: if you respect the locals, they will reply you nicely, or even won't mind speaking to you in English. But if you behave like a parvenu, then it certainly draws abhorrence. Now I haven't seen a single tourist asking me for directions starting by 'Zou San/Nei Hou' (Good morning/Hello!)
Mencius say, "A man must first respect himself, and then others will respect him. A man must first despise himself, and then others will despise him." To respect oneself is not to kiss and tell after taking advantage of locals by saying "You should tolerate us", and not saying "You are discriminating against us" when people point out your misbehaviour. Bear in mind what I said if you want people to respect you.
(Photo by 90後社會紀實)
(Photo by 90後社會紀實)