The first time I heard the words “toilet revolution” was on November 28th in Guangzhou Hotel. I opened the live broadcast of the fourth Central Television and was shocked by hearing President Xi Jinping proclaiming the achievements of the 19th National Congress of CPC, which is helping every Chinese achieve the goal of eradicating poverty. He claimed that Chinese people should behave themselves in order to build up a civilised nation, and therefore he mentioned the innovative concept named “toilets revolution.”
This is really impressive to me, because many toilets in China’s tourist attractions have indeed been widely criticised in recent years.
Toilet hygiene, which concerns the spiritual civilisation of people, is a civilised embodiment of a nation. If a nation does not pay attention to toilet hygiene, it cannot be regarded as a noble quality of its people. I have visited China for many times to see relatives and to travel. When it was just at the very beginning of China’s reform and opening, I visited China 37 years ago for my first time.
At that time, everything in China needed to be developed, all aspects of China were showing backwardness and disorder and needless to say civilisation. After that I came back once every two or three years and every time, the scene in China that I saw changed rapidly: tall buildings pulled up everywhere, high-speed railways and express highways extended in all directions, and economy and military were much better than before. As the descendants, when we saw the original dilemma of the ancestral homeland had risen strongly, we are really happy.
Now it has been 37 years later, and we came back to visit relatives and friends again. All the toilets that we saw really greatly improved: a large number of toilets in many places were very clean, and some even set up toilet sales department for tourists’ needs.
However, we were also astonished by experiencing uncivilised service attitude from some public service. Bali Agung volcanic eruption affected the departure frequency of the airport, but luckily, we took the Garuda Indonesia Airline back to Bali at 2 a.m. on December 2. At the Guangzhou Airport gate, we were preparing regular baggage clearance.
At the entrance, I witnessed a custom officer took notes on the two of our four checkin suitcases with a chalk, but I did not pay much attention to it at that moment. Until we arrived in Bali and opened the suitcases at home, we found the locks of the two marked suitcases were warped and broken.
When opening and checking, we even found that three charge pals were lost, and two bags of valuable ginseng and dendrobe were lost as well (a total value of more than 3000 RMB).
Although we were not sure if the stolen had happened at that gate, but the locks of the two marked suitcases were warped and broken and they were where the lost things were in. This kind of extremely uncivilised “theft” behaviour is definitely forbidden in civilised customs service. We sincerely remind the relevant departments that custom service staff’s civilised service which is related to the service image of the national customs needs to be improved.
Therefore, the “Toilet Revolution” about spiritual and civilised measures which was initiated by President Xi Jinping is timely. It is widely recognized that China’s national strength has rapidly risen both in economy and in military affairs, but it must be accompanied by the rise of the cultural spirit. The spiritual civilisation of Chinese people is manifested in Chinese outbound tourists and custom service staff. Cultural civilisation is the same as “toilet revolution”, and “a small step forward is a big step towards civilisation” is a national event.
(Balli, Yi Ruxiang)