Friday, 12 June 2015

Stop Being an Idiot Abroad

There has been a lot of media coverage in the past few days regarding Elanor Hawkins, a young Brit arrested for stripping on a sacred Malaysian mountain. I am angered by some of the comments I have seen coming from people in Britain. "Malaysia should be ashamed of themselves" from one commentator on yahoo, "How can a place be sacred" said another "Cameron should step in".

Even worse than these, one of those arrested a blogger by the name of Emil Kaminski, shows absolutely no remorse for this blatant disrespect. Elanor, to her credit, has acknowledged what she did is wrong and apologies. Kaminski still insists "it's just a mountain". Try doing that in St Peters Bascillica, you'll find the Malaysians are going easy comparatively. 

This is the kind of arrogance that many in western cultures (particularly in the UK and Ireland) have been guilty of for years. I'm referring to endless stories of anti social behavior, primarily in Spanish resorts. A recent comment thread on the Lad Bible regarding the drinking laws in Magaluf had many comments along the lines of "we can do what we want, we're bringing in money". Did you know, it is possible to have fun abroad without shaming your entire nation?

When will these people learn, when you are going to other countries, you have to respect their cultures. It may be "just a mountain" to you, but to local people it can be sacred. Just as a church is "just another building".

I can't begin to fathom what enjoyment people get from getting completely drunk and making a nuisance of themselves, or donning Hitler masks near a Jewish cemetery, or like above, stripping naked on a sacred site. What possible purpose could that serve? How are any of those things fun or enjoyable?

I write this post in the hope that some of these people will see sense, but I know that ignorance like this is not easily battled.

Thankfully, these are in the minority, but they are much louder than the rest of us and as such make us all look bad.

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