The Real Beggar | A Shanghai Guide

Shanghai has apparently published an illustrated guide, called “Recognizing Phonies” to help the citizens and visitors to distinguish real beggars from frauds. Although I have no idea whether it’s available in English it will be a sad read indeed.

“Amid the great army of city vagrants, there is a cadre of professional beggars who prey on the sympathies of citizens.” “There isn’t a trick they won’t try.” according to the manual

“We don’t want to discourage people from helping beggars,” said an official with the Civil Affairs Bureau, … “We just want to make sure they don’t get tricked and end up helping a cheat.”

It reminds me of when I was walking on Nanjing Xi Lu with a cousin of my girlfriend. The boy is 10 and saw me giving a kuai to an old woman sitting on the sidewalk. “Those people are bad, don’t give them anything”, was his reaction.

This sums pretty much up the average view of the Chinese towards beggars and from early on they have been told this “wisdom”.

I am sure there will be gangs, frauds etc but a big part of them just don’t have anything, let alone any chance to work. Some kuais for them means food, some kuais for me means not even a cup of coffee.

source: Shanghai Publishes Guide to Spot Beggars

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