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Hong Kong Subway Fight Highlights Culture Clash

By January 24, 2012

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A video of a Mainland Chinese girl being scolded by locals for eating noodles on a Hong Kong subway train last week has gone viral, bringing attention to mounting cultural tensions between Mainlanders and Hong Kongers.

The incident highlights what some say is a growing culture clash between Mainland Chinese and residents of Hong Kong, a former British colony that was returned to China in 1997. Comments by a controversial Peking University professor have only intensified the tensions, according to the Taipei Times.

Kong Qiandong (孔慶東) called Hong Kongers "bastards," "dogs," and "cheats" during an interview aired on v1.cn after the subway spat, according to the newspaper report. He also said, "Everybody should have a duty to speak Mandarin." Cantonese is spoken in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong though many residents can understand Mandarin Chinese.

The professor's comments led to protests outside Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong and his insensitive remarks are likely to only make relations frostier between Mainland Chinese and Hong Kongers.

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January 30, 2012 at 4:09 pm
(1) Glen Warren says:

Well the stupid girl should obey the law, I think the Hong Kongers are sick of the mainlanders comming over and doing stupid stuff. Although not all mainlanders are bad.

January 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm
(2) Liu Chuan Fang says:

I think the eminent professor should take a lesson in logic before he gives another lecture. In places like HK, there is something called rules, and code of conduct. No one regardless of colour, class or race, is allowed to eat in the MRT in HK. Mainlanders need to learn that obeying the rules and the law are behaviour of civilized people. When I was in Shanghai last year, a 4-WD drove across a pedestrian crossing while people were trying to cross the road, myself included. I was so incensed I banged on the vehicle’s side, whereupon the driver stopped his car, yes on the zebra crossing, leapt out and abused me roundly in Shanghainese. Although a Chinese, I couldn’t understand a word he said, but I was truly frightened by his anger. Expensive clothes and even more expensive cars do not make a people admirable: pushing, shouting, spitting, littering are all abhorrent. Join the 21C China and learn to behave.

January 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm
(3) Kopke says:

I have visited Hong Kong several times now and have always really enjoyed their spotless trains and stations. Despite the many people travelling, their trains are always a pleasure to use. Here in Melbourne at Flinders Street we have fast food stalls on the platforms and the result is disgusting, the air filled with the smell of cooking oil (often not as fresh as it should be) with litter strewn on the tracks and lying on the seats and floor of the rail carriages. Often the floor is sticky with spilled soft drink. Travelling here is not a nice experience. So the mainland Chinese should obey the Hong Kong rules, the way the locals do and enjoy the excellent amenities. If they want to eat they should go to a cafe or restaurant. The last thing Hong Kong needs is the sort of mess we have created here.

February 2, 2012 at 11:05 pm
(4) Eric says:

I lived in Hong Kong. They look down on Philipine nationals, mainlanders and treat them like dogs. It’s unbearable to watch. The HK man took the opportunity of the spilled noodles to whip the mainland dogs and yell at them. He would never yell at a Japanese, Korean or westerner like that. But he wants to feel superior to mainlanders. That’s why the Peking University professor said many HK people are lapdogs to the West and wolves to mainlanders. That’s exactly the way it is. I saw it everyday year after year. Even the Cantonese word for “mainlander”, namely “daailokyan” is an insult word! When they say mainlander, namely “daailokyan”, it sounds like you’re referring to trash or a dog, so people take care not to use the word too much in public or say it too loud. Shame shame shame on Hong Kong! Beating on a child in the subway and then ganging up on the mainland mother after she tries to protect the dignity of her child as a human being. Shame shame shame on arrogant, superior-minder Hong Kong!! I’m ashamed of you!

February 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm
(5) Ed Johnson says:

Hong Kong is an extremely law and order abiding place. The Hong Kong residents are very proud of their city. The residents of China are just growing up in the global village. Relatively speaking, they are less sensitive to accepted western practices like no spitting, no loud talking in restaurants, no throwing garbage everywhere and obey rules and regulations in public areas. As more Mainland Chinese travel and see the world, they will learn proper accepted public mannerism. As well, they may also adopt bad western practices like graffiti, etc. Love thy neighbours. Speak humbling and politely. Don’t take the low road and avoid arguing with foolish people like that professor. There is nothing one can do when another person cannot control his/her mouth. The mouth is on his/her face, so to speak. But arguing with fools only cause one to become a fool. This professor surely tarnished the image of Peking University and China also.

April 23, 2012 at 1:54 am
(6) KT262 says:

I’m from HK originally, and I now live in Brisbane. I know and have seen plenty of HK people in HK speak loudly and litter in public places, not just mainlainders.

Here in Brisbane, people are nice, polite and courteous in person, but there’s a lot of drunken violence and road rage. HKers and mainlanders might be rude and unpleasant, but HK is still generally a safe city compared to most cities in the West.

August 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm
(7) ccc says:

The Mainlanders are Communist-manipulated heartless dirty dogs. What can you do? They have been taught to be this way since Mao (who they are still taught to worship).

August 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm
(8) Amazing says:

Eric, way to be a bigot and also deflect responsibility. Sire, you know the HK man’s intentions, all while ignoring the documented behavior of the Mainlander. Your argument is nothing new, the same as most brainwashed, hateful and insecure PRC citizens. Have to also bring in the tired jealousy of the West, typical and pathetic.

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