• Fri
  • Aug 29, 2014
  • Updated: 1:32am

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.


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This article is now closed to comments

That's like saying there will always be criminals committing crimes no matter what, so we should just do away with all the efforts trying to stop them. And "social hierarchy"? You mean like the cast system of India, or like how the Nazis considered their own "race" superior, especially to the Jews?
LOL this never gets old. With all the hustle and bustle in this cutthroat city of miserable workaholics and defeated opportunists, there must exist an iconic scapegoat for us to vent and point fingers at. What's better than to do another article on "Mainlander bashing" spree ? SCMP is epic knowing what their readers need. I guess it makes us sleep better at night knowing we are a superior race, ironically speaking that there is still a remnant trace of colonial blood running in our veins that cleverly dictates our motor functions where we urinate or defecate.
Mainland bashing???
How many mainlanders bash our ideology? Or our right to express ourselves?
People in Hong Kong are thankful to live in a society that largely respects rule of law. We are also thankful to have the right to express ourselves.
It is disgusting to see that again in the news, but it seems not to confine to the Chinese. Elevators in the New York subway and Chicago subway stink of urine at times, which is not good for the disabled who must use the elevators; I once saw an American guy picking an empty plastic bottle from a bin and having a pee in the subway. Surprisingly, there has not been news about that.
Dai Muff
Hong Kong's taxi drivers do this every day. But they do not do it in front of everyone.
@Clark K
Sounds like you're a HK cabbie yourself. Well done! :)
Yes, agree. There are areas in the cities of very many western countries which smells of urine. Maybe those drunks and the homeless are less photogenic, and maybe the mainland Chinese children of presumably wealthy parents are a novel and soft target.
But it is a disgusting habit. Maybe the toilet signs in that upmarket shopping centre might be made more obvious and multi-cultural? Maybe severe on-the-spot fines for the parents might bring the message across that behavior is not acceptable.
It's a toddler having a pee FFS. Get a grip. Much more serious stuff going on, at least he was **** in the bin.
A responsible parent would head to the nearest washroom.
As was mentioned by Bossy this isn't the toddler, it is the parent, grandparent or guardian. Don't try to justify atrocious behavior. What is wrong with the toilet/washroom? Or to quote Bossy again a diaper. If there were more people with your attitude just think about how poor public hygiene would be.




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