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Beijingers taught to behave themselves for Olympic Games
Updated: 2006-02-21 15:44

BEIJING, February 21 (Xinhua) -- Beijing's residents are being educated in everyday etiquette ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, an occasion regarded by many as a chance for China to show the world its rich history and how far Beijing has progressed in recent years.

The Beijing Municipal Women's Federation has launched a campaign to help local people learn more about matters relating to daily life, to deal with family chores and to establish a friendly relationship with their neighbors.

The move is an important part of Beijing's efforts to build a harmonious society and to improve local residents' manners ahead of the Olympics, said Xi Ronghua, chairperson of the Beijing Municipal Women's Federation.

A cartoon book, containing life stories of world-renowned figures such as Socrates, Madame Curie and Strauss, and covering problems arising in people's daily life, has been published to teach residents how to deal with relationships involving husband and wife and parent and child as well as various family chores. The book also teaches people how to mix with their neighbors.

Several thousand copies of the cartoon book have been sent to women's federations at various levels in the city, several hundred household nurses and students at female-only schools. These groups are regarded as the best channels for widely spreading correct etiquette in the family.

"As a Chinese saying goes: 'Harmony in the family leads to prosperity in all undertakings," Xi said. "We hope that the move will help everybody correct his or her uncivil behaviors so everybody can enjoy a harmonious life within both family and the neighbourhood."

Respecting the old and cherishing the young have long been a virtue valued by Chinese people along with friendly neighborhood relations.

However, uncouth behavior, such as quarrels amongst families and neighbors and swearing in public, is also evident in local society.

City Mayor Wang Qishan has already said that the most troublesome task for the city in preparing for the Olympic Games is the improvement of its residents' manners.

A survey showed that booing and even swearing by audiences to show their discontent with players' performances are two of the most irritating bad manners that tarnish the image of the Chinese capital. Other bad habits listed in the report include spitting, littering, violation of traffic regulations and passengers jostling with each other on buses.

Last summer, Beijing authorities kicked off a campaign to correct local residents' uncivil behaviors. They were taught about the Olympic Games, audience etiquette, occupational protocols and everyday behaviors.

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