30 things the Shanghai Etiquette Association doesn't want to see at the Expo site

30 things the Shanghai Etiquette Association doesn't want to see at the Expo site

After spending two weeks at the can't-be-more-crowded Expo site, the Shanghai Etiquette Association has released the 30 most 'uncivilized behaviors' that Chinese visitors should avoid
Expo 2010 site sleeping
“Taking over the whole bench and sleeping” is no. 9 on the visitors’ uncivilized behaviors list.

Even with all the pre-2010 Expo "civilizing" campaigns, it seems that visitors have a long way to go when it comes to how they behave on site.

In an article posted by expo.qq.com, Shanghainese offered their list of the most “awful” habits they've seen at the Expo so far with the top three being “washings in public”, “going out in pajamas” (what's wrong with PJs?) and “piling up the public corridors.” An article in response to the post points out that at least these behaviors have knocked out "old uncivilized habits such as spitting, littering and shouting in public" from the list.

It's one thing for locals to sound off, it's another though when the Shanghai Etiquette Association -- the folks charged with showing China's best face to the world -- releases its list of 30 uncivilized behaviors happening on the 2010 Expo site. Spitting, littering and shouting in public have earned themselves top spots in the rankings. Commissioned by Shanghai Civilization Office, Shanghai Etiquette Association workers spent two weeks on the Expo site -- undercover, of course -- to catch visitors' impolite and uncivilized behaviors at their worst.

Some of the descriptions are pretty explicit and amusing in their own right, but here are our favorites:

“10. [Some visitors] pay very little attention to their appearance in resting areas. Some take off their shoes and show their bare feet, while others sit around and massaging to their feet.” We think knowing how to massage your own feet is a pretty worthwhile skill, especially after walking around all day at the Expo. Maybe what the Expo is missing is some of Shanghai's famous foot massage parlors.

“12. [Some visitors] sit on the fences while queuing up for the pavilions.” At least they're lining up and really, it's not easy to stand for hours upon hours on some of the Expo lines, so we're not sure we blame people for sitting on the fences. A better bet would be to buy one of the portable stools you see people carrying everywhere before heading to the Expo. Look for street vendors selling them around the Expo entrances. 

“15. [Some visitors] waste toilet paper in the toilet and some men cannot go to the toilet according to the rules.” All we can say to this one is, there are rules? If we're commenting on bathroom habits though, we'd rather the list ask people to stop letting children go to the bathroom in the public water fountains. For now we'll opt for buying a bottle of water.

Click here to read the full list of 30 behaviors by the Shanghai Etiquette Association (Chinese only). 

A borough-bred Manhattanite, editor and writer Jessica Beaton lived in Shanghai for five years and has now moved to Hong Kong.

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Tracy You is a bilingual journalist based in Shanghai and has worked for several publications including as Editor for CNN Travel. She's a fan of history, British TV and Wii Guitar Hero.

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