This is no joke and not satire either… If you have been to China you will understand…

(BEIJING) – The government is teaching citizens ‘the right way to spit.’ A college is showing students the right way to spit. Two years ahead of hosting the
Olympic Games, people across Beijing are on an all-out drive to mind their manners.

China’s hard, gray, briskly communist capital has a reputation for brusqueness. Visitors are often startled to see its people spit onto the crowded pavement.

Changing all that ahead of the 2008 Summer Games is ‘crucial in providing a cultural and historical legacy to the world’ for China, said Beijing city official Zhang Huiguang.

‘We will work with newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, the Internet and mobile telephone carriers to teach people the right way to spit,’ said Zhang, director of Beijing’s Capital Ethical and Cultural Development Office.

Zhang said her office is running a ‘behavioral training’ campaign that also includes lining up properly for buses and turning off mobile phones during meetings.

But spitting is the No. 1 issue, she said at a news conference Wednesday.

‘You have to spit into a tissue or a bag, and then put it into a dustbin to complete the process,’ she said.

Zhang said her office has organized a small army of volunteers who are hitting Beijing’s streets to hand out ‘spit bags,’ wearing bright orange uniforms with the Chinese character for ‘mucus’ emblazoned in yellow on the back.” More…

I have been to Beijing and there is no doubt that this is a good idea for their public relations. I have to tell you, as a westerner I was very impressed with the people, their courtesy and hospitality, but the spitting thing is for real. In addition, you have to admire the efficiency of their government and how well they orchestrate activities involving the masses. I can promise you the world will be very impressed with the upcoming Olympics and it will be an eye opener for most Americans. Sure, they have their issues, but with respect to pulling together as a nation, they have a sense of real pride and nationalism. Something many of us Americans have long forgotten. — zzb