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Locals snapping pictures of my children?

  1. #65
    ssheng is offline Registered User
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    Hmm, well then maybe my mixed kids are just not cute enough to photograph, so for those who get constantly harassed, since it seems the conclusion is that there is no way to really avoid it, consider yourselves lucky to have adorable children as a trade-off. :)

  2. #66
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    fennho is offline Registered User
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    it's funny becos from the way i look at it, i dont think it's a cultural thing that the mainlanders like to take pics of kids. Becos i recently went to shanghai with my girl (who's 3) and she's 100% chinese and LOOK chinese and the shanghainese there were commenting how cute she is and proceeded to take pics too. I'm a little squirmy of people taking pics of her too (due to my overactive imagination) but i fig pics are okay, so i put my foot down when it's vid they're taking instead of pics.

    I also have had experiences where a caucasian stopped to take pics of my girl so i guess this pic taking thing goes both ways.

  3. #67
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssheng View Post
    Hmm, well then maybe my mixed kids are just not cute enough to photograph, so for those who get constantly harassed, since it seems the conclusion is that there is no way to really avoid it, consider yourselves lucky to have adorable children as a trade-off. :)
    I don't think so! It could be many other factors as well, such as places we go, how closely supervised our kids are, how "different" they look (I know some mixed kids who could pass for 100% Chinese, others who could pass for 100% Western)... and MANY MANY other factors :)

  4. #68
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    I think the Chinese just like to take photos of everything, and that's combined with a lack of understanding about other cultures' comfort levels when it comes to personal space and privacy.
    It's not just babies. I had a friend who was a tall, black man living in China -- and tour groups from the provinces were always pointing, yelling "look! a black person!" and then making him pose for photos.

  5. #69
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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gracey View Post
    I think the Chinese just like to take photos of everything, and that's combined with a lack of understanding about other cultures' comfort levels when it comes to personal space and privacy.
    It is not only a Chinese thing... everybody can have a lack of understanding about people "comfort levels when it comes to personal space and privacy" because they don't think that the other party might mind.

    Take for example this thread from another forum which I used to read when I was pregnant... Having the bump been touch by strangers seems to be a common issue, but as they are not expats, they don't bring up the "cultural" thing there:
    http://www.babyandbump.com/pregnancy...ouch-bump.html

  6. #70
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Baby bumps : brought smile to my face as you are ofcourse right. Some love it, some hate it; but this is pretty mixed across all cultures.

    The photo issue is a lot more divisive because of the fact, just a generation ago, everyone took photos with no worries.

    Since then, mostly in the past 10 years, NorthAmerica and UK (and very little bit Europe) have gotten caught up with hysteria while the rest of the world has carried on with photography as nothing has changed.

    They hysteria I'm referring to is the "someone took a picture of a child, must be a peado or going to spread it to bunch of paedos on the internet". Forget strangers, parents and grandparents are no longer able to take pictures of their brood without getting banned and hassled. Cant take pictures at the mall, cant take pictures at swim meets, cant take pictures at school plays, cant take pictures at the playground. *arrgghh*
    (There are also offshots of this that have been voiced in this thread. "Dont touch my baby, you must be a paedo", "Dont go near my baby, you have germs" and other similar fears.)

    Such fears dont exist in many parts of the world and they dont exist in China. Combine that with the curiosity Chinese have with little ones that look different, and we have the clash of cultures.

    BTW: I was in Shenzhen airport yesterday on my way to northern China. Out of nowhere, 3 guys showed up with big grins and 1 camera between them. First they started snapping pictures of me and after a few (not before) they asked to pose with me, one at a time, 2 at a time and finally 3 of them together with me. It was mildly annoying as I was trying to get to my gate but cute enough I guess. It didnt bother me and it would not have if it was one of my kids. Harmless curiosity...
    Last edited by howardcoombs; 08-05-2011 at 05:20 PM.

  7. #71
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Howard -- I don't think it's hysteria. OK, maybe for some people, but not for most.

    Mainland Chinese really do have a different sense of personal space --- and I say this as a Chinese person. Whether it's shoving you out of the way on a sidewalk, or reaching over to grab your newspaper out of your airplane seat, or sticking a camera literally two feet away from your face -- it's different even to Hong Kong, and different to most places in the world.

    I always take photos when I travel -- and I don't think there's anything wrong if there's a family with kids in the background in a public space, like a park, that I am photographing.

    But if I'm going to touch or go close up to someone's children (or even an adult), I ask first. Even if I don't speak the language, I will make eye contact and gesture at my camera if I'm going to zoom in on a street vendor, a local family, or whatever.

    I've seen Chinese tourists pointing at, yelling at and grabbing at people's kids, or picking them out without even making eye contact with the parents. There is some lack of social etiquette -- they often don't smile or approach in a friendly way. It can be quite abrupt. Sometimes it's during rather private times, like when a family is sitting down to dinner at a restaurant. Of course, not all mainland Chinese are like this -- but if you spend much time in the more touristy parts of Kowloon, it is definitely a trend.

    I don't know if I'd always see that as harmless curiosity, even if there was no ill intent.

  8. #72
    NewMommie is offline Registered User
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    To balance out all the negative stereotypes of mainland Chinese on here (and not saying people's experiences are not accurate at all, but of course they are still stereotypes), I wanted to relay an experience I had. During my pregnancy I have noticed that it is not that common for someone to get up and give me a seat on the MTR. I was traveling during the normal work hours, so these are able bodied professional men and women (western and local HK Chinese), and they would rarely if ever get up. Sometimes it was obvious they saw me and would pretend not to by staring down at a cell phone or blackberry. One day on a particularly uncomfortable ride there was a mainland Chinese man, wife and their daughter who clearly were visiting HK to check out Disneyland (the daughter had the mickey ears on). The husband took a look at me and smiled and stood up to offer his seat next to his wife and kid. I thanked them and they said, not at all, this is the right thing to do.

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