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Spitting - an ugly chinese culture?


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#1 wuTao

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 02:35 AM

Is spitting a sort of Chinese cultural habit? I hearing once (I forgot where) someone remarking that spitting was common amongst Chinese, to the point where that person described it as a national past time. Furthermore, I recall seeing Queen Elizabeth recounting in a documentary her encounter with Deng Xiaoping, and how he would, from time to time during their conversation, spit into an urn not to far from him. Is this habit as prevalent among Chinese as these sources make it out to be?

Rather disgusting, in my opinion. :P

#2 Daniel

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 03:06 AM

Is spitting a sort of Chinese cultural habit? I hearing once (I forgot where) someone remarking that spitting was common amongst Chinese, to the point where that person described it as a national past time. Furthermore, I recall seeing Queen Elizabeth recounting in a documentary her encounter with Deng Xiaoping, and how he would, from time to time during their conversation, spit into an urn not to far from him. Is this habit as prevalent among Chinese as these sources make it out to be?

Rather disgusting, in my opinion.  :P

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In my experience, spitting on the street in public is just about universal in Xinjiang; men, women, and children, Han, Uighur and Kazak, everybody does it. You just gotta learn to watch where you step. Indoors, spitting does not seem to be very common, and I have never seen anybody indoors spit into an urn in the manner described with Deng and Queen Elizabeth. I have read that spitting is considered necessary to good health in Chinese tradition.

This is, of course, upsetting to Western mores, but you know how it is. Many Chinese think that blowing your nose anywhere other than the bathroom is a disgusting habit, but it seems unobjectionable to Westerners.
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#3 Guest_dragonknight_*

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 03:57 AM

It may be fine for the person clearing his mouth of spit but it is an extremely anti-social and filthy act if it is carried out in public places. There is nothing worse than stepping on someone's spit or on the receiving end of someone's badly aimed spit. The perpetrators are health hazards and worse than litter louts and should be prosecuted. If China wishes to be considered a modern state, she should get rid of this disgusting habit by some of her citizens.

#4 Klamath

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 04:59 AM

I think it has a little cultural relevancy.

If one begin to spit the first time when he is sick of coughing, anything wrong with his throat, he 'll become more sponge on it whether he has any trouble then. It's a bad habbit not so easy to get rid of which would bring physiological discomfort as smoking does.

In addition, chinese would spit to ground to release his own tension when somebody or something bring some kind irritation to him.

Spitting in China sometimes could be seen as "stick up the middle finger" in west.
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Posted 11 July 2005 - 09:26 AM

I  think it has a little cultural relevancy.

If one begin to spit the first time when he is sick of coughing, anything wrong with his throat, he 'll become more sponge on it whether he has any trouble then. It's a bad habbit not so easy to get rid of which would bring physiological discomfort as smoking does.

In addition, chinese would spit to ground to release his own tension when somebody or something bring some kind irritation to him.

Spitting in China sometimes could be seen as "stick up the middle finger" in west.

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There should be no excuse for spitting in public places as it is a health hazard, end of story. If they have to, they should carry paper tissues with them to spit into and then dispose of them properly.

#6 Klamath

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 10:05 AM

There should be no excuse for spitting in public places as it is a health hazard, end of story.  If they have to, they should carry paper tissues with them to spit into and then dispose of them properly.

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Hehe, if those chinese are really aware of and do carry paper tissues, they would get rid of the habit as soon as possible for it costs. :lol:
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#7 Guest_Conan the destroyer_*

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 10:31 AM

Spitting is extremely common here in the UK, and taking a piss in public seems to be considered socially acceptable. Just remember on thing, in the UK never hold onto the bannister while walking down stairs, their is bound to be spit on it.

#8 AhMan

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 10:37 AM

It seems Chinese don't consider spitting bad. They think saliva is a kind of medicine, not unhygienic thing. Actually saliva contains immunoglobulin which is antiseptic.
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#9 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 11:34 AM

My opinion is that spitting is considered to be 'uncivilized' behaviour of the uncultured chinese.

China is a developing country and in some places where people are 'less cultured' and where almost everybody is doing it, spitting becomes a common habit that is not 'shameful' at all. I guess, cleanliness and hygiene is not emphasized in some places.

It just shows that in some way, the mainland Chinese still got some way to learn to be more 'civilized' and be awared of public cleanliness like in the west.

If you spit in Taiwan or in more developed part of China such as Shanghai, Beijing, I think, it's considered to be uncivilized.

I personally find that 'spitting' is a shameful ugly behaviour of mainland chinese, where they need to be educated to avoid this ugly behavior.
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#10 urofpersia

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 11:47 AM

I personally find that 'spitting' is a shameful ugly behaviour of mainland chinese, where they need to be educated to avoid this ugly behavior to be more 'civilized'.

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This is just a personal observation but... in all my time in Singapore I have yet to come across a mainland Chinese expatriate here spitting, regardless of whether he is a white collar or blue collar worker.

On the other hand I have seen older Singaporean do this across Ethnicities. When I was younger it was even more prevalent and I believe it was considered socially acceptable act at one time. There is a reason why chinese have spitoons. In Singapore we of course have our national campaigns to eradicate such unhygenic behaviour, not to mention fines. So in fact Singaporeans were also very much like those mainland Chinese in the sense we needed to be educated (with both Carrot and the Stick) to change our habits.
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#11 TMPikachu

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 12:28 PM

well, around the world smoking in public is ok, and that's a far worse thing to do than spitting, for yourself and everybody.

In parts of America where chewing tobacco is somewhat popular, spitting is part of the 'hobby'
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#12 caocao74

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 12:30 PM

In parts of America where chewing tobacco is somewhat popular, spitting is part of the 'hobby'

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Spitting is not cool, but when it's black too!! :yucky:
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#13 AhMan

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 12:33 PM

maybe next time if I see a Chinese spitting I'll come to him/her and say: hey dude, how long haven't you visited your dentist for plaque removal? You got bleeding gum :P
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#14 urofpersia

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 01:39 PM

well, around the world smoking in public is ok, and that's a far worse thing to do than spitting, for yourself and everybody.

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Not in Singapore. You can only smoke in public when its outdoors or a non-airconditioned location excluding bustops, terminals and couple other places, exception being pubs and night entertainment locations.

And it aint cheap to support a smoking habit in Singapore, 5-6USD for a pack of cigarettes.

I believe California (or is it just San Francisco?) has one-up on Singapore; no smoking in pubs too. What I would give to walk into a smoke free-pub.
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#15 Guest_dragonknight_*

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 02:06 PM

It seems Chinese don't consider spitting bad. They think saliva is a kind of medicine, not unhygienic thing. Actually saliva contains immunoglobulin which is antiseptic.

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I don't get it. If saliva is such a good thing, why spit it out? How do we know whether the spitters have a clean bill of health and that their spits are harmless. How do we know that they are not suffering from contagious diseases?




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