The latest dispute between Hong Kongers and mainlanders sees a mainland couple confronted by a bunch of HKers after they let their little child pee at the side of a Kowloon street. It’s a very ugly situation and speaks poorly of both groups, especially the HKers in the video. After videos of the dispute went viral, furious mainlanders and mainland media strongly criticized the HKers’ actions. I first read about it but after watching the videos, I feel sorry for the mainland couple who had to deal with being taunted by several HKers while holding their crying child. I also feel disgusted by the attitude of the HKers who were very arrogant and antagonistic, which wasn’t helped when the mainland lady grabbed the SD card of one of the HKers after being jostled by the man and refused to give it back (would you return the SD card to a guy who’d been taking pictures or recording your child?).
The mainland couple aren’t blameless of course- they should have taken their child to a nearby bathroom though they did claim they couldn’t find one. What exacerbates the situation is that many mainlanders have been in similar situations, letting their children urinate or even defecate in public, including in restaurants. Even in Beijing, it’s common to see little kids peeing or crapping at the side of the road or at the base of trees on the pavement. Part of this is probably the lack of clean public toilets in China, with toilets in many restaurants and even high-speed train stations dirty. As a parent, the last thing you’d want to do with your child is take them to a public toilet if they can just do “it” outside. This isn’t a good habit so I’m not condoning it.
I feel this poor couple were paying for the sins of their other countrymen.
I was really shocked by the action of the HKers which went beyond annoyance and anger towards outright disrespect and cruelty. At every turn, you can hear them badgering and mocking the mainlanders, in full sight of their child. There’s no compassion or consideration for the fact the couple’s crying child, maybe around 2 years old, is being upset by the whole situation. At one point, the HKers exclaim, somewhat gleefully, something like “see, you made your own child cry (on second viewing -2.28-2.35 in the second video, HKers are heard saying, “you’ve scared the child” however it’s not clear if they’re talking to the parents or it’s other bystanders chiding the HKers confronting the parents)” There’s no politeness or respect or restraint in how the HKers, who seem young, possibly in their 20s, talk to the mainlanders. Frankly, with all the shrieking (especially by the HK lass nearest the action) and shouting, one cannot distinguish between these HKers and the stereotypical depiction of the loud mainlander, though of course the HKers were shouting in Cantonese. There’s a strong element of arrogance among Hong Kongers which I’ll go into sometime soon.
I’m not totally naive and unaware that mainlanders can be callous. Having been in Beijing for only more than half a year, I have seen and experienced my fair share of rudeness and ignorant behavior. However, regarding this specific situation, the actions of the HKers towards the mainlanders were downright revolting. As annoyed and angry as these HKers might be towards mainlanders, I wonder how many mainlanders have actually done them wrong. Do they experience rudeness from mainlanders or see mainland kids peeing every day? There’s a growing sense of insecurity and callousness among HKers which has manifested itself in attacking random mainlander visitors in Hong Kong, and I don’t want any part of it.