HK Metro Spat Video Shows Mainland Culture Clash

A spat that erupted aboard a Metro train between a Hong Kong resident and visitors from the mainland was caught on video, and has gone viral as illustrating the vast culture gap between the two sides.

On Tuesday a young girl visiting from mainland China had begun eating noodles on a train where food is prohibited. That prompted a local man to snap in disgust, “That’s how you mainlanders are!”

A woman who was among a group of visiting mainlanders became enraged and directed an outburst at the man. Everyone involved in the spat was ordered off the train by the Metro staff sent to investigate the situation.

The video shot of the incident was shot by a fellow passenger and has gone viral on both sides of the border. It has also become a topic of coverage and commentary by various Hong Kong and Chinese media.

Online comments by mainlanders seem to acknowledge that Hong Kong fosters a cleaner, more aesthetic environment while lamenting the lack of tolerance of the locals. At the same time visitors from the mainland were chided for being oblivious to the local culture and customs.

Having been a British colony from 1842 to 1997, Hong Kong’s public culture remains markedly different from that of neighboring Shenzhen in Guangdong Province though people on both sides of the border speak Cantonese. Hong Kong also enjoys a standard of living that has surpassed most of Europe and North America for a quarter century while China remains an industrializing nation with a population that has only recently emerged from generations of rural poverty.