Get in Line!

The Beijing Spiritual Civilization Committee has launched yet another campaign to improve the manners of Beijingers in the run-up to the Olympics.  The target this time is "queue-jumping," which is an interesting term in itself, because it implies that there might be an actual queue to jump, something that is usually NOT the case.  This all-wise committee has now decided that the solution is to designate the 11th of every month Stand-Orderly-in-Line Day. Or, in Chinese pai-dui li-rang.  On that day, the neighborhood grannies ("Marxist Mamas") will be deputized, don their little red arm-bands and fan out to remind (cajole, harrangue) people to stand in line. They decided that the 11th was a good date, since the number 11 is like two individuals standing in line.   It might help people remember!

While the state media is hailing this as a move of unparalleled brilliance, Beijing "netizens" are not so impressed.  An on-line survey revealed that most people think the habit of queue-jumping is too ingrained.  It’s a sign of how much things have changed here–public opinion polling of government campaigns.

You can go here to read the Xinhua article, and see some photos of happy Beijingers standing in line (hint–the photos are staged!)