Hanoi’s cultural authorities are seeking approval for a draft behavioral etiquette code intended for public facilities and communities in a bid to improve the attitudes adopted by those living and working in the capital, including tourists and expats.
To Van Dong, director of the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in a Wednesday interview that his department had handed the draft of the Hanoi Behavioral Etiquette Code to the People’s Committee for consideration.
The code encompasses general and specific etiquette meant for six groups, namely state agencies, schools, hospitals, companies, residential areas, and public places across the capital city.
It earned an “Ideas – For the Love of Hanoi” prize, part of the local Bui Xuan Phai Awards, last year.
The draft code pointed out that Hanoi – with its 1,000-year-old history and rich, elegant culture – is representative of the entire country’s traditions, lifestyles, and cultural values.
However, people living and working in the capital have yet to live up to expectations regarding lifestyle, behavior, and attitude.
The behavioral cultures adopted by individuals at state institutions and public areas are in fact on a downward spiral, the draft code notes.
In recent times people, particularly the young, have expressed worrying attitudes, including indifference to others’ suffering, dressing scantily in public or solemn places, rampant littering and urination in public areas, and rude behavior, even to the elderly.
According to the city’s culture department, among the 6,000 questionnaires handed out to locals as part of the project to prepare the code, hospitals top the list of locations with the most inappropriate behavior.
Over 90 percent of the respondents said that doctors, nurses, patients and their relatives have adopted inappropriate manners.
Ninety-five of the respondents said that civil servants also do not behave properly.
Questionnaires handed out at local schools also indicated that 50-70 percent of the schools’ leaders, teachers, staff, and students still display improper etiquette. According to Nguyen Khac Loi, deputy director of the culture department, the etiquette code is based on over 50,000 pages of material collected from 130 books, 10 doctoral dissertations, over 100 newspaper and magazine articles, and 30 sets of legal materials and institutional regulations in both Vietnamese and English.
The project also used input from major seminars. The code stipulates etiquette for each group of subjects, including devotion, frugality, willingness to listen, responsibility, consideration and fairness for civil servants and staff at institutions and agencies.
It also includes polite, cultured manners in public places and due respect to the natural environment for average people.
Loi added that the council and relevant agencies are continuing to discuss the draft.
If approved, the project will be launched immediately for each group of subjects in certain localities on a pilot basis first.
The initial results will be reviewed by June 2015.
Nguyen Hoang Tien, a lawyer who lives in Hanoi, considered the draft code a highly humanitarian document, and expressed his hope that the code will be applied soon.