Australians offer a lesson in manners

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 September, 2009, 12:00am

This summer, I went to Brisbane, in Australia, and one thing really impressed me - the people's manners. I felt their behaviour was completely different to people in Hong Kong.

Hongkongers are used to being served by others. Many of them think they deserve respect because they have money. This kind of attitude is wrong.

For example, in Brisbane, people throw away their leftovers after eating in fast-food restaurants. They don't leave them on the table. They feel they have a responsibility to dispose of their own waste.

In Hong Kong, on the other hand, most people leave their leftovers on the table because they think it is somebody else's job to clean it up.

We also have a lot of rubbish on the streets in Hong Kong. In places like Mong Kok, especially, people throw their rubbish next to the bin when it is full. But in Australia, I never saw scenes like that. People even pick up rubbish when they see it on the street.

I think we should try to learn from people in Brisbane.

Kiki So, Pooi To Middle School

From the Editor

Thanks for your letter, Kiki. Yes, people in Hong Kong are very dependent on others to clean up after them, look after them, do things for them. We like to think this affords us more time to do 'important' things, but really it is about manners.

There are so many simple little things one can do to make the lives of others more enjoyable - hold the lift door when you see someone approaching, don't rush onto the train, do you really need to be ahead of that person in the queue?

All it takes is a little consideration for those who share the planet with you.

Susan, Editor