More Reader Feedback on Hong Kong Manners

Crowne plaza science city guangzhou Cultural differences or just plain bad manners? It all depends on whom you ask!

Leonard Nichols is resident manager at the Crowne Plaza Science City hotel in suburban Guangzhou, China.

He was posted in Guangzhou, China, many years back. Following a lengthy hiatus, he returned a few years ago to find a vastly different city and a vastly different country to the one that he had previously known.

Leonard is very upbeat about both Hong Kong and Guangzhou. He posted a short – but interesting – comment on Facebook after he read the post on the letter to the South China Morning Post criticizing Hong Kong people for their apparent lack of manners. He writes:

“Different cultures have different standards,” Leonard says.

“I can think of many true acts of kindness that I have received in both Hong Kong and Guangzhou, acts that may not have been received in Australia.”

Accidental Travel Writer Responds

I am sure that that is true, Leonard! I, too, have received many true acts of kindness in this part of the world.

. . . . . . . . . .

An American expatriate living in Bangkok, Thailand, for many years is in a long term cross cultural relationship.

Just as many foreigners in Hong Kong think that the locals are rude, she believes that they might be doing things that the locals think are rude, too – without even knowing it.

As an example, she points out while conversation is an important aspect of family get togethers in Western culture, it is not always considered necessary – or even welcome – at family banquets in some Asian societies.

“I used to drive my partner’s folks mad with dinner table chatter, but all they said was, ‘The food is getting cold!’”

Accidental Travel Writer Responds

LOL! That must have put a damper on your chatter!

I’ve noticed the same thing at Chinese wedding banquets. I want to chat, and most of the other guests have their eyes glued to the television screens that hang from the walls and dangle from the ceilings!

. . . . . . . . . .

But there are dissenting views. Some readers simply aren’t buying this “cultural differences” defense for what they consider to be bad behaviour.

Take Stephen Anderson, for example. He referred to Monday’s post by a Hong Kong headhunter, who went on and one about cultural differences, as “pathetic apologizing”. He writes:

“You do not need a 6,000 year culture to know to give your seat to someone in need.

“It is sad but true, many people in Hong Kong society do not care for any one but themselves, more so across the border. And people in this society should be pulled up on it.

“And to forestall other comments, I have spent most of my life in Hong Kong, and I know the society very well.”

Accidental Travel Writer Writer Responds

You’ve got a very valid point, Stephen. And I can assure you that I have “pulled up on” quite a few people that have tried to close the elevator door in my face, and I refuse to move out of the way so that people can get on the train before I get off the train.

Cultural differences or not, some things are inexcusable.

. . . . . . . . . .

C.C. in Bangkok, Thailand, agrees. She writes:

“There are some universal civilities that if not employed make one rude.  Not knowing them isn’t always defensible.”

Accidental Travel Writer Responds

I couldn’t agree more.

2 Replies to “More Reader Feedback on Hong Kong Manners”

  1. if it doesn’t make others (locals?) angry, why should i get angry?
    other’s “rudeness’ is not about me, it is not personal… it’s about them.
    relax, enjoy, live from your heart. and, that’s the only way to change things.

Leave a Reply