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Hong Kong culture

Why does Hong Kong find it so hard to say ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’?

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2018, 7:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 August, 2018, 11:13am

I refer to the letter from Stephen Hughes (“What the ‘door close’ button in Hong lifts reveals about selfish city”, July 26). I agree that Hongkongers seem to have become more selfish, and also forgotten everyday moral values.

The first impression one gets is that Hongkongers are self-centred and inconsiderate, rarely giving up their seats on the MTR, and usually turning a blind eye to everything around them. People tend to record those behaving this way and upload the humiliating videos online, so that the issue can be hotly debated and those guilty criticised, but do they think of offering their seats themselves? We seem to have lost the capacity to empathise with those less fortunate than ourselves.

Hongkongers too fixated on smartphones to give up seats on public transport

Also, we fail to be courteous in our daily exchanges. “Thank you” and “sorry” should be the two basics of daily life. But, even when someone holds the door for us or when you knock against someone inadvertently, those words are rarely heard. We take small kindnesses for granted and have forgotten the art of apology. Is it because of our so-called egos that we think such small good turns do not deserve thanks?

Are Hongkongers really ‘unhappy’, ‘arrogant’ and ‘racist’?

Worse still, foul language seems to have become a trend. Even young students use it. This is bad manners: it is not trendy but disrespectful to others. Hongkongers have begun to underestimate the importance of being polite.

Would you hold the lift door for a stranger?

Self-centredness has made us inconsiderate, but, if we try to be courteous and considerate, we can spread the kindness around. People with good manners always have an edge because they create a favourable impression and have an approachable and trustworthy image. This helps them in their social and professional lives. It is up to us to be different in order to make a difference.

Mandy Leung, Tai Wai