Olympics, Chinese Style

“Beijing officials have distributed 4.3 million copies of an etiquette book, outlining rules on good manners and foreign customs, including rules about what not to wear,” according to The Wall Street Journal (8/1/08)  “Among the no-nos:  more than three color shades in an outfit, white socks with black shoes, and pajamas and slippers in public.”   It should be interesting for the Chinese citizens who obey these rules to see the foreigners in sweat pants, jeans and flip-flops.

Another issue for the Chinese government is the crackdown on any protesting during the Olympics.  China just doesn’t want to look bad to the almost half-million tourists who are there for the festivities.  According to the Associated Press, probably several thousand Chinese protestors have already been locked up for the duration so they don’t behave “inappropriately.”  Also, protestors had to apply for permission to demonstrate some five days in advance and had to acknowledge that they would not harm national interests.  They were supposed to be relegated to one of three parks which are several miles from the main Olympic stadium, but in a report on Saturday, August 8 in the Los Angeles Times, the three parks where demonstrators were to be allowed were totally quiet.  There were no signs of protest areas or of protesters, and, according to the Times,  there were more security personnel than visitors at the parks.  Foreigners who protested over the past week were deported, and the heavy security measures have forced most of the demonstrations to be held in other countries, including Tibet, India, Hong Kong, England, France, and Germany.