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Chinese Human Compassion

crazy.laowai (242 posts) • 0

Today, I passed yet another wreck, where someone was lying on the street bleeding to death, and not a single person would help them. Sure, a huge crowd had gathered around to stare, but no one, not a single person, would help the poor guy who was bleeding and moaning in agony. This is something about Chinese culture that I simply cannot tolerate.

Why, why, will you Chinese not help a suffering human? I have heard all of the excuses:

"But our culture is 5,000 years old!" Great, but are you telling me that you have not learned human compassion in 5,000 years?

"But if you help him, he might sue you or ask for money!" SO WHAT?? Helping a dying, suffering human is more important than money! In no other country in the world would people try to argue about money while someone lies dying in front of them. Total BS.

"If you don't like China, then go back home!" This is pure diversion. First of all, I love China, or I would not be here. I just do not like the lack of human compassion. Also, you are avoiding the issue. The point is that you would walk by someone's grandmother dying on the street, and ignore her, and FEEL FINE ABOUT IT.

This is not human behavior, and I will NEVER accept it as "jus5t a prt of Chinese culture." Some things transcend culture. The way the Chinese ignore dying people on the street is pure, animalistic, disgusting behavior, and there is NO EXCUSE.

crazy.laowai (242 posts) • 0

Yes, I actually did. I stopped and put my jacket under his head and soothed him, and called the police and ambulance. Now, back to my question: why won't Chinese people help the suffering?

AlPage48 (1117 posts) • 0

It may have something to do with the fact that people have been sued (successfully) for helping somebody. Calling for police or ambulance is the safe thing to do, but it looks like so many people don't even do that. There seems to be a second attitude about almost everything in the form of "I don't need to call, somebody else can do it".

bucko (675 posts) • 0

I have seen this several times in Kunming. Even the police won't touch the victim. They stand around just like everybody else.
The fact remains that you will likely get onto trouble by getting involved. The law logic is that you must have responsibility in the accident, otherwise why would you help a stranger?

It's your call. If you can afford the money to support the victim's medical bills, and also his family for years to come, then go for it. Also being a laowais, the possibility of deportation.
Sucks as it does, that is the facts. I felt the same way whenI first got here until my Chinese friends were able to convince me otherwise. This is why so many accidents are hit and run in China. The punishment is very severe, and if you are at fault, your Chinese insurance is not liable to pay out $$. Go figure.

AlPage48 (1117 posts) • 0

I've only ever seen one hit and run accident here. Of course, it was a police car that hit a bus before leaving the scene!

laotou (1715 posts) • 0

@crazy
Chinese are exceptionally pragmatic. The laws of responsibility dictate we care for our own family first, then MAYBE others. Unfortunately - the culture of helping strangers disappeared when the lawsuits emerged. So Chinese will observe, but do nothing as our responsibility is to care and provide for our own family first.

Even a phone call can be used by unscrupulous attorneys and POS victims to extort money, make false accusations, etc etc etc. This attitude is NOT unique to CHina. It also exists in Taiwan.

The good samaritan and the laws of hospitality are things the government will eventually focus on - but right now -they're focused on feeding, clothing, and housing everyone sustainably, raising the welfare of the rural peoples (schools, hospitals, JOBS, etc) not to mention holding this country together despite external forces (US democracy and free market pressures, dalai lama splittism, European civil rights, etc etc). One might note - that all of the above pressures are hypocritical to an extreme degree and some have an extremely poor historical relationship with China (drug dealers, colonialism, massacres, etc).

As an American citizen - I wouldn't even bother to stop and help - I'd call 911 to report - but just keep going. Normally when I do this - the operator typically reports they've received several calls on the incident (now that's unusually and rarely courteous for a government employee).

misfit (110 posts) • 0

first:
are you sure that in the rest of the world people help strangers? do you wanna talk about rapes, robberies and verbal violence in the subways (SUBWAYS) of london, paris, new york under a big silent crowd?
second: i've seen people helping strangers also in kunming, and I often see people picking up and giving back objects or money when somebody drops them by mistake, something not common in big western cities.
third: people living in a foreign country are usually more sensitive to help and compassion, the same chinese who doesn't help strangers would maybe do it in a different country (it happened to me many times back home to be helped by foreigners and not by locals).

The reality is that in the western world is now common no paying attention to strangers, in trouble or not, (there was a great video of a famous violinist who was playing in the street in NY for a social experiment and just few few people recognized him), so no news cover the daily cases of lack of compassion but even though china is changing compassion is still a value so news give more space.

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