China will be China

Antonia M.

I know someone who currently lives in China and once a week I hear one interesting fact about China, the culture or the people. Yesterday, I heard fact number #45 and nothing had me prepared for what I was about to hear.

Apparently, people from China do not believe in disposable diapers for babies and toddlers. Instead, they have split pants, allowing the baby to eliminate whenever and wherever. What is more intriguing (and disturbing in my opinion) is the fact that they are encouraged to do this on the streets.

An episode with a grandmother and her grandson really disturbed me. As they were walking on the street, the child had to pee so instead of going to a public bathroom or having a disposable diaper on him, he just stood in the middle of the street and a small stream of urine appeared from the split pants onto the sidewalk. The grandmother then wiped his bottom and the two walked away because what happened is completely normal for them.

Another fact about this is that Chinese people believe in “going on command”. In other words, they condition their babies (just like Pavlov’s dog) to pee or poop at a given signal. Seems like a dream if your baby wants to poop and you are in the subway for example. What happens with that baby once he/she grows older? Whenever he/she will hear the sound from the potty training (whistle or a shushing sound usually) the child will urinate or poop involuntary? Hmmm…

It is a major cultural difference between us and China, and as interesting and fascinating it may be, I think they should readjust their methods. Not only this, but as far as I’ve read (after my friend told me all these, I had to check) more and more European citizens are adopting this kind of potty training. I do not want to walk down the street, accidentally stepping into a poop and then wonder whether if it is a dog’s poop or a baby’s.

What is your opinion about this cultural fact?


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