March 17, 2007

The 11th is Queuing Day in Beijing...
According to a headline in the wonderfully exciting, interesting, and insightful China Daily, "Beijing institutes queuing day"! Now imagine this, the government has decided that the 11th of every month will be "Queuing Day", which means that if there are two or more people waiting for something they are supposed to line up. That's right, the government has to encourage people to line up to help eliminate line-jumping before the 2008 Olympics. It seems they feel that having people line up once a month will lead to an orderly and 'civilized' Olympics.
According to the newspaper "orderly queues are a rare sight in a city which is also hard at work trying to put an end to spitting and littering and present a more "civilised" face to the world in 2008." The Capital Ethic Development Office, set up to teach manners to the people of Beijing, also hopes that Beijing residents can be "missionaries of civilisation" for the rest of China.
In an effort to encourage Beijing citizens to actually line up, slogans have been posted around town such as "It's civilised to queue, it's glorious to be polite", "Voluntarily wait in line, be polite and put other people first", and "I care about and participate in the Olympics and set an example by queuing".
I wonder if people will be able to line up during the whole period of the Olympic Games? Maybe they will have "Queuing Weeks" next year when all week long people will have to line up.

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