If you are wondering what the easiest way is to upset an expat mom or dad in Hong Kong, just take a picture of their child. Not in a creepy “hide around the corner” way, but when the toddler walks up to you and grabs your leg, laugh and take a picture. Chances are really good that the parent there will be OUTRAGED!
As you know if you have been following this blog, my wife and I are definitely not in the above-described group. If someone wants to take a picture of the little guy, or with the little guy, we enjoy the moment with them and use it as an opportunity to teach him about other people and how to interact with them.
Are we worried about what they are going to do with the photo? Not one bit. Why? Because 99,99% of people who would be taking his picture were not planning on doing so when they woke up that morning. They were just out and happened to cross paths with us, find something cute that they wanted to remember, and take the photo. Sometimes they have proper cameras, but the vast majority of the time they are using their phone. And what would they do with the photo anyway?
The thing is, with the photos, we are always in control of the situation. Nobody gets to touch the little guy unless they ask and I say it is ok. When we are done with the photo opportunity (like if the little guy is getting freaked out), we stop it, even if they are not done with the photo taking. But again, the vast majority of people are super fun and respectful.
I write about this topic because they other day at Disneyland one of the moms came up to me super angry because someone wanted to take a picture of her kid. How dare they?! And they acted like the mom was being rude when she said they couldn’t (which I agree). They were from mainland China and he is a blonde kid who walked up to them sitting in the Lion King show. So he invaded their space, they thought it was fun and wanted to take a photo. How crazy of them, right?! ;p
I have heard countless moms complain about this to me. “Oh we had to cover the stroller because people kept looking in.” “Oh we had to tell people not to take our son’s photo again. I mean, I don’t take photos of them!” And on and on. To me it is just a lame way of saying “my child is so gorgeous, people can’t stop taking their photo.”
To be honest to all white residents or visitors to Hong Kong and Asia in general, it does not mean anything if your white son or daughter has their photo taken in Asia. All over the world, it has happened to me as an adult where people want to take my photo, and it has happened to my wife more often. So it will also happen to your kids. Get used to it and don’t act like you are special if people want a photo, or like the person taking the photo is some kind of weirdo. Lighten up, have some fun with it, and enjoy it – along with the illusion that your kid is cuter than everyone else. 😉