Scavengers in Hangzhou library

24 Nov

Recently, many newspapers report that Hangzhou library open for scavengers. Hangzhou is my hometown, and I will give a brief details about the situation scavengers in Hangzhou. Scavengers are those people who don’t have incomes or have some incomes but isn’t enough for feed themselves. They pick up litter, such as leftovers, empty bottles, dirty cloths for living, and most of them are homeless people. The most unique situation in China is that people can sell some recycling stuff and get a little cash. (For example, 10 empty bottles for a dime, one pound of paper for a dime) Thus, some homeless people pick empty bottles, papers from trash bin on the street. Scavengers always smell bad and seem dirty because they spend most of time with garbage. Many newspapers report that Hangzhou library open for scavengers, and public give positive attitude for this situation. In the article, it stated that Hangzhou library not only allow scavengers to come in, also allow them to bring their package (empty bottles, dirty paper, those trash for other people). Even though, some of them insist to leave their package outside the door. Furthermore, they will clear their hands every time before touch books even they are not ask for. However, some citizens don’t like to get close to scavengers and want librarians to kick them off. Librarians said that they have the same right to read book as normal people, and if others feel uncomfortable, they could change their seat. “No one can ask scavengers to leave.”

Basic on this situation, it is mostly considering about class. Those scavengers can be explained as “American dream”. Although it happened in China, might be the “Chinese dream”. They want to get freedom to pursue happiness without socio-economic class barriers. They can visit library just like other citizens, and have the same treat to read books or get education. Also, there is protestant work ethic in this situation. They work hard, to collect those recycling stuffs and earn some money. They do not choose to commit crime. They use their hands to earn money for living, so they need our respect. As for rewards they get, they could enjoy visiting library, and have chance to learn for free. Some people who do not like stay with scavengers, they are having classism. They are too much awareness of a class and assign values to people based on economic ranking.

Personally, this action library does is positive. Hangzhou has been the first city to break out class. This city has done a lot of those actions or programs in order to let citizens realize there shouldn’t be a class divide. I think it works. When I see this news article, I notice that in one picture, one scavenger is sitting next to a person, and it seems peace.

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