Editor’s note: Roy, a retired expat who has lived in Ho Chi Minh City for 15 years, has shared his point of view on the alarming increase of ruinous behaviors among Vietnamese people, after reading about misbehaving visitors abusing animals at the Saigon zoo.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Tuoi Tre News.
Certainly the situation at the Saigon zoo is disgraceful from any viewpoint, except, apparently, the Vietnamese people who probably consider this type of situation quite normal. The zoo is not an isolated incident - this is the “norm” for behavior here. The entire city suffers from the incompetence, ignorance, disrespect for others and cruelty on a daily basis in all corners of life and business. Ruinous behavior in both public and private has gone far past the ‘tipping point.’ Positive role models are few and far between. Few if any feel a need to follow the rules, including those who write the rules and those who are to enforce them. What kind of message does this send to young people? We are living in a society where far too many believe they can act in any manner they like with impunity, particularly those who have position, power and wealth - not simply the ignorant. Far too many young people of privilege understand they can get whatever they wish without earning it. None take responsibility for their actions and the effect they have on the community. Of course all societies have people who follow the same pattern of behavior (they are usually a small minority), but, in Vietnam, those who follow the rules and respect others seems to be the small minority.
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