Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hainan: Do they spit anymore?

Betel nuts stalls: Hainan has the culture of chewing betel nuts.

Apart from the search for the elusive Hainan version of chicken rice, I was also curious to know if spitting in public is still the habit among the Chinese. I haven't been back to China for at least ten years so  I was naturally curious to find out.

It didn't take me long.

They spit everywhere: in shopping malls (into litter bins), pavements, gardens, parks, from buses and so on.

Maybe the youths should know better than their elders. I was wrong.

Travelling in an inter-city bus, the young man in front of me kept spitting out of the window at least a dozen times.

Aside from this spitting culture, there's also the culture of chewing betel nuts in Hainan Island. The pavements everywhere are splattered with red spittle as a result. Disgusting.

Never knew they chew betel nuts in Hainan. It came as a total surprise to me frankly.


  1. And they smoke everywhere too.

    I have seen some older folks doing their big business in the early morning, in the city of Shanghai too.

    It will take time before they learn to be civic conscious, a long time.

  2. Betel nut chewing is UGLY! I've seen chewers with damaged gums and stained teeth, mouth + lips - IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE!

    But thn again, betel nut has addictive and short term euphoria-like effects. Asians LOVE IT!

    I'm not surprised about spitting in public China. Spitting has proved almost impossible to halt in China.


  3. Andy, I am shocked to hear that they do their big business in Shanghai.

  4. Loke, you're right about the ill-effects of betel nut chewing. Seems they get a high. Can anyone explain why they need to clear their throat so often and then spit?