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Updated: 2013-05-31 07:14

(China Daily)

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Someone once visited this place 到此一游 (dao ci yi you)

"Dao ci yi you" literally means someone once visited a place. The phrase is in the spotlight now because of a photo that was posted on weibo showing a 3,500-year-old relic in Egypt with the words "Ding Jinhao was here" carved on it in Chinese characters. Outrageous netizens soon revealed, through a flesh search, that Ding Jinhao is a 15-year-old middle school student in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The parents of the teenage vandal have apologized to the public via a local newspaper for their son's graffiti.

The incident received widespread attention via social media and generated public anger at the shameful behavior of Chinese tourists. Besides Ding, there are many other tourists who have defaced historical treasures, or misbehaved by jumping queues, littering, making loud noises and jaywalking at tourist spots.

The Chinese National Tourism Administration this week called on tourists to follow a set of official conventions it has posted on its website and to take heed of their behavior. But denouncing bad behavior and promoting good norms should not be just lip service. To be really civilized tourists requires long-terms efforts devoted to public and family education and also legislation.

(China Daily USA 05/31/2013 page16)