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Green Woodpeckers swoop on dirty Beijing

发表于 2013-7-18 12:55:53 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Green Woodpeckers swoop on dirty Beijing
[日期:2007-04-14]来源:  作者:admin
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http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSPEK14549020070323
Liu Zhen
BEIJING (Reuters) - Nothing is more revolting to Wang Tao than when one of his fellow Beijing residents hawks up a gobbet of phlegm before ejecting it with a splat on to a city pavement.
Spitting is still a common practice in China and with the Beijing Olympics on the horizon the 35-year-old worker at the Xicheng District Sanitation Bureau decided to do something about it.
"I was talking to some foreign friends and we agreed that spitting is the worst and ugliest habit of the Chinese," Wang Tao told Reuters. "You should take a look at any overpass -- blots of spit everywhere, it's so disgusting."
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So at weekends Wang Tao and his growing band of Green Woodpeckers -- Chinese schoolchildren are taught that woodpeckers help trees by eating harmful grubs -- can be found on the streets of the capital trying to get people to give up the habit.
Wang Tao and his cohorts, who wear badges declaring themselves Clean City Volunteers, use the Chinese aversion to losing face in public in their battle.
"We give tissues to the people who spit and ask them to wipe up the spittle," he said. "If they refuse, we do it in front of them. This kind of action is effective on most people."
Wang Tao started his first anti-spitting campaign in May 2006 and initially recruited help from his friends before launching the jintan.org -- "forbid spitting" -- Web site which netted him more than 100 additional volunteers.  Continued...

I met him over the internet," said Wang Daoyuan, a Green Woodpecker. "And I think he's so brave to care about the public issues and do something to change it. So I thought I could also do something."
HEALTH MATTERS
Wang Daoyuan has since brought along her friends Jin Zhao and Cao Rui, all 22-year-old college students, to take part in weekend activities on the main streets of Beijing along with other volunteers from all walks of life.
"We've had school students, taxi drivers and office workers doing this together," she said.
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The spitting scourge is as much a matter of health as manners, Wang Tao believes, as it contributes to the hepatitis and tuberculosis infection rates in Beijing as well as the SARS outbreak that brought the city to a halt four years ago.
"During the SARS time, everybody knew spitting was bad...people challenged those who were spitting," said Wang Tao, the son of a Chinese traditional doctor.
"Nobody dared to do so in such an atmosphere. But after SARS, people returned to what they had always done."
The Beijing city government and Olympic organizers have become greatly concerned that spitting, littering, swearing and refusing to queue will spoil the atmosphere at next August's Games.  Continued...

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© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.
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