C-LAB Learning Culture｜Urban, Culture and Everyday life
Public Spittoon Pride? The Anti-spitting Movement in Hong Kong, New York, and Shanghai
Date/Time: Nov. 30th (Sat.) 2:00pm
Venue: C-LAB Co-Working Space
Speaker: Sean Hsiang-lin Lei (Research Fellow at the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
This talk departs from the first controversy over the anti-spitting movement in a Chinese community (which occurred in Hong Kong between 1907 to 1909) and traces back to the origin of the movement launched by the Health Department of New York City in the 1890s, further extending to the anti-spitting movement launched in Shanghai in the 1930s. Comparing the three cities’ approaches for dealing with problems with spitting, which encompassed health policies, civic values, spittoon designs, physical habits, and spatial separation, the following simple questions are answered: Why is the public spittoon still needed by Chinese people after nearly a century since the anti-spitting movement was first launched? More importantly, why does the public spittoon continue to spark strong disdain in China and in the Western part of the world, with both sides reminded of how different they are?