Watch your step: after an incident in Hong Kong triggered online backlash both there and in the rest of China, a new poll by The Beijing News has revealed that Beijingers think children urinating in public places, such as on the street, is just fine.
When asked in an online poll how they felt about the incident now dubbed "Bladdergate," 38.8 percent of those surveyed indicated "[Children urinating on the street] should be fine, children lack self-control." Another 39.7 percent said, "It’s ok, but parents should try to find secluded spots." Only 4.9 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, "Be responsible, it is against Hong Kong law."
A Chinese mainland child was filmed urinating into a sewer grate on a Hong Kong street. “The kid was going to pee in his pants, what do you want me to do?” said the child’s mother. Nearby Hong Kong citizens, who themselves manage to find restroom facilities for their own children on a regular basis, pulbicly scolded the mother. The video went viral, with viewers on both sides of the Lo Wu border expressing outrage.
Hong Kongers seem bent on pointing out the uncivilized ways of mainland visitors; whereas the visitors themselves point out the uncivilized nature of gawkers filming a child in the act of answering the call of nature. Meanwhile, some netizens on this side are calling for tourists hitting Hong Kong for the May Day holiday to protest the action by deliberately allowing their children to pee in public, SCMP reports.
This is just the latest in a string of public hygiene infractions committed in Hong Kong by north-of-the-border parents. As explained in the journal of public urination, Foreign Policy:
Quote: “Behavior involving children seems to be a particular flash point. In January 2012, a video of a mainland mother feeding her child some biscuits in a subway car in Hong Kong, where eating or drinking is not allowed, managed to cause an uproar. In February 2013, a mainland mother suffered online wrath after encouraging her son to urinate in a bottle in a busy Hong Kong restaurant. In April of that same year, Hong Kongers lashed out against mainland parents who let their children relive themselves in a train compartment.”
We think this misses the point. Since we see adult males, namely taxi drivers and construction workers, urinating on the street daily, the discussion over public urination by children seems moot.
"Yes, I realize that to most Westerners, the sight of a three-year-old running around in what is essentially a pair of ass-less cotton chaps can be a bit jarring; but there is a distinct reason and method to the madness," wrote former Beijinger parent company True Run Media Editorial Director Jerry Chan, a father of two. He cites diaper waste and rashes as two primary reasons even the most pro-diaper parents should save a thought for Chinese parents and their pants-less practices.
Photo courtesy of IntelFreePress (Flickr)