Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 19. 2nd August 1973


Drawing of men working outside

"There's some thing over there we wouldn't have here at any price" — Joe Walding on his return from China.

What happens when a person commits an offence in China? On our first night in Shanghai a group of the New Zealand delegation decided to go for a walk along the waterfront. Being foreigners we immediately aroused the curiosity of the other people along the street and we attempted some clumsy phrases in Chinese about who we were and where we were from. A crowd of 30 or 40 people gathered around interested in talking with us. Only minutes later an argument developed among some of the crowd which ended up in a furious debate and semi-boxing match.

One of our translators told us that one or two people had asked the crowd to move along and stop staring at us as they thought it was a rude and embarrassing reaction to-foreign guests. We stayed around to watch how the dispute would be solved. The boxing match ended at the persuasion of the rest of the crowd and a furious debate began about the rights and wrongs of the case. This lasted for about ten minutes until the people must have reached agreement, as they went about their business quite satisfied.

On further investigation we found that this was a typical method of dealing with disputes among individuals or groups of people over small issues such as these; the rights and wrongs of the situation being worked to a satisfactory conclusion by the people involved.