• Tue
  • Oct 21, 2014
  • Updated: 6:29am

Picture of boy urinating in Vancouver bin sparks anti-China vitriol

'Mainland Chinese' blamed after photos of young child's act in a Vancouver mall go viral on web

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 August, 2013, 1:31pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 10:58am

Photos of a small boy urinating into a rubbish bin in an upmarket Canadian shopping mall have sparked a debate about standards of behaviour in the Vancouver satellite city of Richmond, North America's most Chinese municipality.

Photos of the Asian boy with his pants around his knees at the Richmond Centre mall, steadied by a woman as he stands on the rim of the bin, provoked a fierce reaction after they were posted by Twitter user Brandon Beavis. The vehement response mirrors that which followed an incident in Hong Kong last month, when a Putonghua-speaking girl urinated on an MTR train.

This kind of undignified behaviour is common amongst Mainlanders
internet user

The images of the boy, aged about two or three, went viral this week and were the subject of a report on the main CBC news bulletin on Thursday night.

Internet reaction focused on the ethnicity of the child and woman - and varied according to the proclaimed ethnicity of some respondents. Some said such behaviour was typical of "Asians" or "Chinese", but the fiercest reaction came from people who identified themselves as Hongkongers or Canadian Chinese, and said they were certain the pair in the photo were mainland Chinese. There was nothing in the photos to prove this.

The responses reflect changes in the demography of Vancouver and its satellite city of Richmond, which have seen waves of Chinese migration, first from Hong Kong in the 1980s and 1990s, followed by even greater numbers of mainlanders in recent years. Richmond is now about 50 per cent Chinese by ethnicity.

"That is not how normal civilised people behave, and it is inexcusable," wrote SkinnyPupp, whose profile on the Revscene website - a car modification site popular with young Vancouver Asians - listed his hometown as Hong Kong. "This is not a 3rd world country", wrote another Revscene user.

A posting on the Vancitybuzz news website prompted "Embarrassed Chinese-Canadian" to suggest that the ethnicity of the Richmond Centre pair was obvious. "Why not go one step further and say Mainland Chinese," the user wrote.

"This kind of undignified behaviour is common amongst Mainlanders in Hong Kong. I can't have a conversation with my cousin in Hong Kong without him telling me at least once how much the Mainlanders are mucking up the city," wrote Canucks Star, a member of a fan forum for the Vancouver Canucks ice hockey team.

Some users unfamiliar with discontent over the supposed behaviour of mainlanders in Hong Kong were confused by the ferocity of the reaction.

The CBC report noted that going "diaper free" had long been practised in China and a veteran foreign correspondent said "manners … and the standard of toilets" in rural China were "very different" to those in Canada.


More on this story

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

You're being absolutely ignorant on this issue and you underestimated the influence of culture. This problem has nothing to do with one's race or citizenship, it's about the CULTURE that you're rooted in. You also have no proof of that boy being Canadian-Chinese or just Chinese and it simply doesn't matter on this issue. We've seen lot more Mainlanders doing such bizarre behaviour in HK and it shows the pattern. It's no wonder we associated Mainlanders with this because it gives us idea that this is what they would do.
Sadly you're on a high horse and insulted us and the Indians even though it's not related to the issue. And by judging I could only tell how superficial you are. So please grow up mentally because this problem is more than that little racist mind you have in your head.
I agree that a person born as a Canadian/American or who swears in as one is just that, a Canadian or American. As has been said countless times in both Canada and the U.S. there is not need to use an adjective to describe what kind of Canadian or American you are, example Chinese-American. In fact China does not recognize more than one nationality so a Chinese citizen who aquires another nationality automatically loses her/his Chinese nationality.
I don't agree with the comments about Hongkongers thinking we are superior to the Chinese; on the contrary many of the Chinese visitors who come here think they are king sh*t. Hongkongers are only looking out for Hong Kong.
Sheer nonsense.
Dai Muff
This is not about race. It is about culture. Or the lack of it.
Since you have mentioned that of a superior race, may I remind you that there is a major difference those that have just landed and those that were raised abroad. Now start using deductive reasoning............
ssslmcs01, oxymoron9, etc., stop looking for ways to subdivide people. There is only one race: we are all the human race. And humans are diverse. No group of people are uniform. Not all mainland Chinese behave the same way, just like not all Americans are gun-toting mass shooters. So quite trying to generalize and subdivide. Those are the tactics of a racist.
I agree with you we are one human race. And I'm not tryng to subdivide people at all. A lot of people from China, not all, impose their ideals and values on us. I studied with many students from China at local Hong Kong universities, and found many of the mainland students are not willing to listen to criticism of anything to do with China, many, not all take it personally. The difference in mentality is very great. Students in China are taught to think as a group whereas students in Hong Kong are taught to think as individuals. There are bound to be clashes of ideologies.
"Students in China are taught to think as a group whereas students in Hong Kong are taught to think as individuals."
How laughable your statement is... If Hongkongers (including the students) had just a bit more critical thinking skills (or if they could think a bit more as individuals), Hong Kong wouldn't be a sorrowful place as it is now. From my personal observation, and many may agree, mainland students outperform HK students in every respect.
I've lived and worked on both sides of the border. I've studied with "mainlanders" at two universities in Hong Kong. Our Chinese classmates have not only given the strong impression of thinking as a group but have also told us in classes that they are more or less told what to think instead of being critical.
If Hong Kong is such a sorrowful place then why do they want to keep coming here? Who has been the hand that fed the economy in Guangdong and beyond? Get a life white water.
@ pseudotriton
The thought of achieving utopia is commendable but futile. A mere wishful thinking of an unrealistic optimist. People have been divided since the beginning of civilization. What you call racist I call social hierarchy. Sounding politically incorrect does set apart from the notion of hypocrisy. No pun intended.




SCMP.com Account