• Sat
  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 7:40pm
NewsHong Kong

Controversy over urinating toddler threatens to escalate as state media, angry net users weigh in

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 April, 2014, 7:35pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2014, 11:45am

State media weighed into the debate over a mainland child urinating in a Hong Kong street on Thursday, stating that both the youngster’s parents and those who so vocally objected to their actions needed to “raise their level of civilisation”.

In a commentary published in its overseas edition, the People’s Daily questioned whether the bystanders who captured the young boy’s act on camera had acted properly, while calling for a need for “mutual civilisation and understanding” between tourists and Hongkongers.

Meanwhile, in a move which could further escalate tensions between Hong Kong and the mainland, an anonymous internet user at one of China's most popular online forums, Tianya.cn, has urged mainland parents to take their children to Hong Kong next week and let them urinate in the streets. 

"Bring children to Hong Kong and let them urinate in Hong Kong's streets. Let's see who will come and take photos. They will see it as natural after they have been familiarised with the act," user Haijiao No68 wrote.

The incident over the urinating toddler, reported earlier this week, reignited a debate about the behaviour of mainland tourists in the city, dividing opinion on whether the parents were in the right or wrong in allowing their child to urinate in a busy Mong Kok street.

Since being posted on social media earlier this week the video and images have drawn more than one million comments and reposts on Weibo alone, while the incident sparked heated debate on both Facebook and Twitter.

Using a conciliatory tone, the editorial stated that due to sheer numbers alone, not all tourists would behave badly.

“It is an act of civilisation to understand others’ difficulties,” it read. “No one occupies the moral high ground of civilisation.

There were over 30 million mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong last year, so it was inevitable some of them would not act up to modern standards."

There were over 30 million mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong last year, so it was inevitable some of them would not act up to modern standards
People’s Daily commentary

It added: “It is normal for kids to have difficulties holding in their urine. If there is a long queue at the washroom … one can understand the difficulties of being parents.”

The commentary described the toilet incident as “just a trivia in society which could have easily blown away in the wind”, but added when scuffles and discrimination comes into play, it highlights a wider problem in society.

The piece concluded: “It takes a lot of self-reflection and learning to achieve civilisation, while experiences are also required for travelling. Both the tourists and [the people at] the destination need to raise their level of civilisation to get along with each other. The crux of it is understanding.”

The commentary came after an opinion piece in the Global Times the previous day criticised the pair who shot the footage for being “more uncivilised” than the family allowing the child to go to the toilet by the roadside.

“Those locals cannot face the fact that the difference between the pace of development of Hong Kong and mainland coastal cities is rapidly diminishing… their attitudes have been distorted, losing patience towards the mainland Chinese,” the state-run newspaper said.

The dispute erupted on Sai Yeung Choi Street when the parents allowed their child to relieve himself by the road, leading to a fierce quarrel with passers-by.

Surrounded by onlookers, the woman desperately explained to the crowd that they had found a public toilet but saw there was a long queue, so had no other choice but to let their child go on the street.

“The kid was going to pee in his pants, what do you want me do?” the mother asked the young men before a scuffle broke out and the parents attempted to snatch the memory card from one young man’s camera.

The husband and wife, both two-way permit holders, were subsequently arrested on suspicion of theft and assault respectively, Hong Kong police said.

The woman was later released on bail and was ordered to report back to police in mid-May pending an investigation, while her husband was released unconditionally.


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You know, when those HKners see a white guy peeing in a corner in LKF or white guys behaving bad, they just look away as they are too afraid confronting them. But picking up Mainlanders, yes there they feel very brave.
These low people have never been out of Hong Kong. They have a teeny tiny narrow vision of the world. If they have the money to afford to travel, then they will find out it is not uncommon to see situation like that all over the world. They have nothing better to do than picking on a little kid. You know what, these hypo probably themselves had done the same thing that they would not dare to say.
These lackeys only dare to insult their own people. Once they encountered the white people, they would be hiding like a rat and would not dare to say a single word.
Go find yourself a life instead of “MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING”.
这些低人从来没有离开香港。他们有世界上一个很小很小的狭隘视野。如果他们花得起钱起旅游,那么他们就会发现这是在世界各地经常看到的情况。他们无什么好做,便针对一个小孩子。你知道吗,这些低人也可能自己亦做过,他们只是不敢说, 他们只是伪君子。
Nothing really too make a big fuss/news about it (only that the guy taking the picture of a two-year old must be accountable for breaching the toddler's privacy)
MSNBC, Sep 2012:
"Anh-Van Nguyen, a New York City mother, said there are worse things than peeing on the bushes. She once saw a child take off her underwear and pee in the middle of the playground. “Other barefoot kids ran all over it,” she says. “It was disgusting. If you’re not potty-trained, I think you should take a minute and find a more proper place — a tree or bush would have been more appropriate.”
And while boys and girls both pee in public, Stephanie Sulzbach, a Connecticut mom of two boys, thinks boys pay attention to their male role models. “[My husband] will pick peeing outside any day over using a toilet. He’s convinced that this is why men are ‘plumbed’ the way they are…"
Lauren Apfel, an American mom living in Glasgow, says letting toddlers pee in public is very common in the UK; it isn’t really even a topic up for debate. “Before I had a toilet-trained kid myself, I remember being slightly shocked seeing a friend’s 3-year old peeing against a tree with absolutely no compunction, surrounded by several other toddlers all doing the same thing. When I pointed this out to my friend, as if to alert her to the disaster, she explained it was par for the course around here.”
I doubt it's so much more that the kid pee'd/crapped in public, it's more the whiny nature of certain sections of the mainland population that somehow compel them to go have a cry about "discrimination" on the internet and then whip up a frenzy.
Here's the thing - this is actually illegal in so very many countries, and you'll get fined, locked up, and even classed as a sex offender for doing this (comes under indecent exposure). Are you going to go have a cry on Weibo after this? Laughable and utterly pathetic.
Even so, if you are really stuck in a bind where you DO need to answer the call of nature in an awkward spot (I'm sure it's happened to us all once in a while) at least try to do it in somewhere a little more discreet.
Just doing so would have shown everyone that it couldn't be helped, and at LEAST you tried. And, saying sorry would have helped, wouldn't you think.
This has gone all over the world, and the actions of these pompous mainlanders in having a cry on Weibo has done nothing to make ALL Chinese look terrible. It shouldn't have gone this far, and there was so much that they themselves could have done to defuse the situation. They just chose not to.
Now I see it.
The photo don't seem to suggest the child was urinating as the woman seems to be wiping his backside with tissue. Be that as it may, to allow a child to obey a call of nature in the midst of a public street is ridiculous. In Mongkok there are quite a few scavenging lanes which would afford some privacy and at least partially out of sight of the crowds.
However, remember not that long ago many many Chinese do live in rural areas and that being so, if one needs to pee or spit or whatever, just go for it. That's been going on for generations and it would take a long time and some social science classes to teach them that living in cities, in close proximity with others, one has to "change ones ways". As the saying goes, you can take a person out of the countryside, but you can't take the countryside out of a person. In time all would be well !
If a child is too young, he or she should be wearing nappy. When a child is beyond the age to wear nappy, parents should teach him or her to use the bathroom and to tell the parents whenever they feel the need to go. Failing to know this makes one unfit to be a parent. Parents of other nationalities do not pull their children’s trousers down to relieve themselves in public! When I come to think of it, it all comes down to Chinese being inconsiderate. Numerous times we have seen headlines or photos circulated online with captions like, “Chinese tourist holding child to urinate in Disneyland’s bathroom sink”, “Chinese child wee in public”, “Chinese defaecate in the middle of the street”, “Chinese helps child to urinate in a glass in restaurant” and so on.
Such a lie as many parents will realize - that when children need to go, they have to go.
What Hong Kong is objecting to is the casual self-excusing attitude where the culprit is claiming that they themselves are so irritated by the situation so why are you making such a fuss?
What Hong Kong knows is that such a self-excusing feint is actually commonly employed by fellow Hong Kongers - it's a snitty stupid evasive maneuver common amongst Chinese, correct?
It just probably is not about peeing in the middle of the street in front of multiple stores because as the parents are claiming, the q was too long at a real lavatory.
Really? So you didn't use the diaper inside a crowded public restroom but took to the sidewalk?
You did it because you weren't too considerate of your kid. You weren't making him go every twenty minutes at his age by locating a proper restroom at the 20 minute mark. You weren't attentive, you're on vacation, you've got this kid so it's not exactly a second honeymoon for you and your spouse - you've got parental obligations.
In this case, despite all the abuses filmed and posted on youtube, POOR HONG KONG.
Because he was doing you a favor, he was correcting you, he was policing you as a private citizen to make you never ever ever think you could get away with it.
It's happened to me - people calling me on my nonsense - and lucky me and lucky you if someone is willing to expose themselves and let you know to STOP IT.
“Those locals cannot face the fact that the difference between the pace of development of Hong Kong and mainland coastal cities is rapidly diminishing… their attitudes have been distorted, losing patience towards the mainland Chinese,” the state-run newspaper said."
In essence, Hong Kong locals are '"just jealous"?
So...tourists allow their child to relieve themselves and defecate on a street full of people, sparking outrage - because the locals are "jealous". Wow, revelations indeed. All this time, I'd thought that it was the inherent indecency of the act, perhaps coupled with suppressed animosity as to the general poor behaviour of some tourists from across the border, and a general desire of ordinary citizens to preserve the civility for which Hong Kong is known for.
I guess I thought too much - we're "just jealous".
I understand it's natural call and it's esp. hard for children to hold it but why in the busiest street in the busiest district? In all the busiest street there is some alley where really few people passes. And the fact is washroom in HK is very sufficient, easiest to find is the washrooms in shopping mall and mcdonalds. For long queues you can just ask ppl to let your children go first. Why don't try to ask for help instead of ruining others' environment?
For the accusation of HK people is discriminating or standing in moral high ground of civilisation, or they need to be more tolerate, etc. The point is this case is just one of those thousand cases.
Mainland customer is somehow "famous" for the fact that they are more willing to spend money but rude and arrogant.
We sometimes see people cut in line and in many cases they speaks mandarin.
We sometimes got bumped so hardly or our foot got run over by luggages, when we expecting a simple "sorry"/"excuse me", we just see someone speaking mandarin and keep moving away.
I have many Chinese fds and I know there's a lot more modernized out there. And I know somehow it's cultural difference because I've bumped someone without sorry/cut in line in China, but no one seems to care. All these conflict is just because the cultural difference between HK and China, the gap is large but the govt want us to be one and more similar in a short time. HK ppl are already stressed enough...




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