English words carved on bricks of the Great Wall on Aug 11. (Photo/Sina Weibo)
The uncivilized behavior of tourists has long been a headache for popular tourist attractions. The Great Wall in particular has suffered because many people carve their names or graffiti on it. In the latest such incident, a group of photos showing graffiti carved on the Badaling part of the Great Wall has been widely spread online, which aroused fierce discussion because much of it is written in English and some people have concluded they might be the work of English-speaking foreigners. China Youth Daily comments:
Quite a high percentage of the graffiti on the Great Wall is in English. Last year, a US National Basketball Association player was widely criticized after he carved his name and shirt number on a stone at the Mutianyu part of the Great Wall.
Yet the uncivilized behavior of foreigners is no excuse for us to set looser standards upon ourselves. Uncivilized behavior deserves criticism regardless of the nationality of the person responsible. Reports of the bad behavior of foreign tourists in China should be a mirror for us to better regulate our own behavior.
But the bad behavior of some Chinese tourists does not justify the accusation that all Chinese tourists are uncivilized. That is obviously an unfair generalization as the overwhelming majority of Chinese tourists do not indulge in uncivilized behavior. Nor do the majority of foreign tourists visiting China.
With China opening ever wider to the world, interactions between Chinese citizens and foreign visitors will be increasingly frequent, which raises higher standards for us to review our own behavior. Chinese residents and foreign tourists need to learn from the good points of each other, not the bad.
Just because one person has drawn graffiti on a historical site does not justify others doing it. Do not set a bad guy as your example.