China Pushes Public To Mind Its Manners – Maureen Fan

50 years ago, the toliet cleaner, Shi Chuanxiang /时传祥 gained nationwide reputation in China for his hard work, and Premier Zhou Enlai advocated the whole nation to learn from him. Today 100 toilet cleaners in are getting special training for the 2008 Olympics, from the Washington Post:

In the downtown Environmental Sanitation Bureau, 100 public toilet cleaners sat at rapt attention in neat rows, red armbands pinned to the sleeves of their immaculate purple jumpsuits.

The small army of mostly migrant workers who help keep Beijing clean are trained routinely in the mechanics of their jobs. But on this day, a senior lecturer from a government-run institute was driving home a specific point…

China cares enormously about how it is perceived by the rest of the world, and the Games have put a spotlight on this country’s ancient ideas of shame and superiority, as well as the traditional Chinese concept of not “losing face.” [Full Text]


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