Is Dongguan Tolerant?

0814_DG affairs (2)Dongguan is the most tolerant city in China. So says the fine staff at Hubei’s Investment Times, who went to researcher Luo Tianhao of the Commerce, Technology and Quality Administration Center for answers. Only one criterion was applied in deciding which of China’s cities show an overall quality of acceptance—the proportion of a city’s net inflow population within its total populace. If that’s too technical, it’s like this— 77.3 percent of Dongguan’s people moved in from other provinces and international locales. Therefore, the study found that, without a doubt, we are the No. 1 Most Tolerant City in China.

The report categorized 50 cities into seven groups from strongly tolerant at its highest rating, where Dongguan beat out Shenzhen by a margin of 7 percentage points, to Chongqing and Yangzhou rated as least tolerant. But media here are full of arbitrary rating systems that swear this city is the best at that and that city has the biggest this.

Let’s put the accolade to people on the street to get their opinion. Is the pulse of tolerance strong or do we have more to determine?

0814_dg affairs6Wen Tianrong
From Dongguan
Lives in Chang’an

Q: Do you agree Dongguan is the most tolerant city in China? Why?

A: I agree. My dad does business and he has friends from all over the world. He has been saying that Dongguan is a city suitable for business and living. His friends think Dongguan people are friendly as well.

Q: What habits of foreigners must be tolerated?

A: You have to make an appointment with foreigners in advance, while for Chinese we just ask and go right away. And sometimes they speak directly. We tend to go in a circle to refuse somebody.


0814_DG affairs_1Brennan Barnett
From America
Lives in Dongcheng

Q: Do you think Dongguan has become more tolerant over your 12 years here?

A: I don’t know, I think Dongguan kept the same identity, stayed kind of the same. I do think people here adjust to circumstances.

Q: How does Dongguan benefit from foreigners/Xin Guanren (a Dongguan term for immigrants)?

A: Every time you learn from other people, different cultures and different societies, you learn what their backgrounds are. With local customs and everything, if they are open-minded to how we interact; how we do things, experience their mind; and make everything a little better; so I think it makes people, by having different cultures around, it makes you learn a lot about yourself.


0814_dg affairs5Tan Xixuan
From Dongguan
Lives in Humen

Q: People from which country/province demand the most tolerance?

A: I am currently going to university in Zhejiang Province. I think Zhejiang people are not as tolerant as Dongguan people. They think they are from cities and we are from the countryside.

Q: What local habits must be tolerated?

A: Littering, swearing all the time.


0814_dg affairs4Lee Sanghee
From Korea
Lives in Dongcheng

Q: Do you agree Dongguan is the most tolerant city in China? Why?

A: Yes, I agree because people here are kind and nice.

Q: Have you had a situation where you need to tolerate other people or others need to tolerate you?

A: The way that people drive here is horrible. They don’t stop while you cross the street. We are in the middle of the road, and they don’t stop. When we had just arrived it was terrible. Now we get used to it.


0814_dg affairs3Greg MacCormack
From America
Lives in Dongcheng

Q: What makes a city tolerant?

A: I think it would be diversity; the things to do, and food and things like that—restaurants. So if I look at why I moved to Dongcheng, relative to another city in China, it’s because there’s more for me to do in this location, restaurants and more places to go. Before I lived in Shilong, and it was not so tolerable, I found that Dongcheng is much more tolerable.

Q: How does Dongguan benefit from foreigners/Xin Guanren?

A: Just the diversity of people. I think that that develops the tolerance that you speak of. A good mix of people that can use different cultures, they maybe merge, develop, understand and learn. If you just stay in one society, one culture, you will be closed-minded.


0814_dg affairs7Yang Guan
From Hunan Province
Lives in Dongguan

Q: What makes the city tolerant?

A: Policies must be adjusted, such as education and [household registration] policies. Right now the policies such as social welfare and retirement for immigrants and locals are still very different in Dongguan. Education for immigrants’ children is a big problem. It’s hard to find a suitable school and the tuition is high.

Q: What habits from foreigners demand tolerance?

A: For my knowledge, their habits are still OK—mainly normal. For example, they use knives and forks; some don’t eat spicy foods; some don’t eat bones; some feel that our eating organs is unbelievable. Sometimes we eat outside with foreigners. We are friendly to them and treat them as guests, adapting to their eating habits.


0814_dg affairs_d1Enrico Secci
From Italy
Lives in Dongcheng

Q: What makes a city tolerant?

A: If you open your mind, you would like to meet other people and other cultures. If you meet other people and other cultures your mind will be opened.

Q: What local habits must be tolerated?

A: When I see something that seems strange to me, I will think, “OK, it’s a different culture.” I don’t think I need to tolerate.