Spit’s Out, Polish In – Mei Fong

 Public Resources Images Ah-Ab461 Spit O 20070208144630From Wall Street Journal (photo: a “Don’t Spit” campaign during SARS, via wsj.com):

On the streets of the country’s capital, spitting — often complete with loud throat-clearing, gurgling and an arc of phlegm — is a frequent occurrence. The deeply ingrained habit is found among young and old and crosses class lines.

Now Chinese officials are mounting a renewed campaign to abolish this custom and other less-than-appealing practices — including cutting in line and littering — all to get the city camera-ready for the 2008 Games.

This week, city authorities announced they will step up efforts to fine spitters as much as 50 yuan, or $6.45, when they are caught doing the act in public — a hefty sum by standards and equivalent to a day’s wages for many laborers. Laws against spitting have existed for years, but haven’t been strictly enforced. [Full Text, subscribers only]

– Also jintan.org, an anti-spitting activist web site dedicated to “forbidding spitting.”

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