It was only a few days ago that we Beijingers, be it born or adopted, found out with stoic resignation that the capital city of the Middle Kingdom had received the dubious honour of being named the world’s 6th least friendly city. Stoic resignation, I said – we can’t well have been much surprised at that.
We knew it every time we gazed at the smoggy haze outside the window, wondering what’s in the city’s air.
We knew it when we noticed what a pain in the neck it is to get a cab in Beijing at certain times of day such that we even started dispensing wisdom on how to pass your taxi audition, hinting at the unfriendliness and danger both official and unofficial Chinese taxi drivers can subject you to.
And indeed the reasons why Beijing has become this notorious are mostly its “dirty streets”, taxis and its “terrible” air pollution, which peaks every winter and causes many amazed and horrified tourists to fear for their lives.
Oh well, at least we have a beautiful soul.
The Beijingers have just been named the most charitable people in China, in a ranking released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and reblogged by the English China News Service.
The Ministry and its affiliated research institution compiled a list of 294 Chinese cities, based on six criteria, including non-public donations, volunteer service, charity organizations, government support and the cities’ philanthropic culture.
Beijing has been listed as the country’s more generous city, followed by Shanghai and Shenzhen. It is the third time Beijing earns the spotlight in as many editions of the list, following rankings in 2011 and 2012.
Image courtesy of Flickr User: mariusz kluzniak. Used and edited under a Creative Commons licence