Dear Nigerians, this is why you should behave yourself when in another man’s country

by Chinwe Okafor

Let’s put it this way, you can no longer just waltz into a country and misbehave. You and the rest of your country will get punished for it, thanks to the Chinese.

The problem of what Chinese officials call “uncivilized tourists” has become “a major issue in our oversight of the tourism industry,” says Li Zhongguang, a researcher at an arm of the China National Tourism Administration.

“Our government has been forced to respond to it.”

About two dozen government departments were involved in drafting the rules, Li says, including the ruling Communist Party’s “Civilization Office,” which is in charge of ideological affairs.

Not only are the Chinese bemoaning their rudeness at home and abroad, the government has responded with new rules that took effect this week, aimed at keeping loutish travelers in check. And in a major innovation, the government has named four tourists to a new blacklist, which could affect their credit ratings and freedom to travel for years.

Some Chinese citizens have questioned whether the new rules are too harsh, or infringe on civil liberties, such as privacy and the right to travel. Li says the concerns are overblown, and the rules will affect very few people.

“Some media have misread these rules as being tougher than they really are, like reporting that folks won’t be able to pick their noses in public,” he says. “These rules are really are only meant to curb the worst excesses.”

So the next time you’re in a foreign land and you want to go to the streets and pray or you suddenly remember you cultural heritage and feel the need to display, know that eyes are upon you and your actions and their reaction can cause a ripple effect to your home country.


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