Tuesday
May082012

Don't Be a Stranger

Ask any Chinese person and they'll tell you that Chinese people are very friendly, the most friendly people in the world. Of course in a country of 1.3 billion, there are plenty of uncaring and terrible people, but for the most part it's true.

If you are a guest in China, you will be treated with kindness and respect and every effort will be made to see to your comfort...

but what if you are a stranger?

A difficult part of current Chinese culture for foreigners to deal with is the seeming apathy towards what is happening to others.

Last October, there was a major story about a two year old child that was crushed by a minibus. As she laid on the road dying, a total of 18 people passed by on foot, bike and car but no one stopped to help. Finally a local cleaner stopped and helped the poor child. This was all caught on video.

It was obvious from the video that those people saw the child, but their overwhelming instinct was to not get involved. This instinct was so strong that none even called the police or hospital.

A couple of days ago a Brazilian guy in Dongguan was beaten
trying to help a woman.

As a pickpocket snuck his hands into a woman’s handbag, a Brazilian man intervened to stop the theft. His act riled the thief and his two accomplices, all of whom ganged up to assault him with sticks and leather belts. About two dozens of passersby stood by and watched with folded arms. Two uniformed men patrolling several meters away, who were later found to be chengguan (city management officers), refused to step in.

30 people watched as a good samaritan was beaten by three thieves.

Why didn't anyone help?

A terrible story that has become far to common.

There have been many incidents where a person has tried to help only to be blamed by the person he aided for their misfortune. Causing many to believe that helping others is just not worth the chance.

Is altruism a thing of the past in mainland China?

I'm afraid I don't have an answer but I do have a suggestion....

Be careful who you help and make as many friends as possible.

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