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  • World Cup's Japanese Fans Bring Garbage Bags to Pick Up Their Trash After Games

    The Japanese have been taught to keep public spaces clean since they were little (World Cup included)
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
World Cup's Japanese Fans Bring Garbage Bags to Pick Up Their Trash After Games
PHOTO BY @coachmckaig/Twitter
  • Admittedly, we don't know soccer (or football, we get confused), and we don't have a lot of, well, feelings about the 2018 FIFA World Cup happening right now. But we didn't have to be fans of the sport to applaud what the Japanese does after each game. Their parents should be proud! 

    You see, Japanese fans picked up their trash — they actually brought their own garbage bags to the stadium just for it!

    In a game held last Tuesday, June 19, against Colombia, which the Japan team won 2-1, the Japanese whipped out garbage bags and went through the rows of seats at the stadium to clean up before heading off to celebrate their victory. These football supporters, who traveled all the way to Russia to watch the game, definitely brought their manners along with them!

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    “Japanese are typically very responsible about keeping public spaces clean and about removing trash,” Sheila Smith, a Japan expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, told Vox. “But at yesterday’s game, I am sure there was an element of celebration meshed with a sense that as guests, Japanese fans wanted to be sure they honored their hosts as well.”

    And, according to People, this isn’t the first time Japan fans stayed behind to tidy up. The same thing happened in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Netizens were still quick to point out the Japanese habit this year though. 

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    In Japan, everyone has to take ownership. They have this idea of “group reliance,” according to cultural anthropologist Dwayne Dixon, where every member of society can be relied upon to help the community, especially during emergencies or times of distress. 

    Added Prof. North, “In addition to their heightened consciousness of the need to be clean and to recycle, cleaning up at events like the World Cup is a way Japanese fans demonstrate pride in their way of life and share it with the rest of us.”

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    These good manners likely stem from values ingrained in the Japanese at a young age. “Cleaning up after football matches is an extension of basic behaviors that are taught in school, where the children clean their school classrooms and hallways,” Scott North, professor of sociology at Osaka University, told the BBC. “With constant reminders throughout childhood, these behaviors become habits for much of the population.”

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    Giving chores, even simple ones like picking up toys, starting at toddler-age is a good idea, according to experts. It helps children build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility, and self-reliance. It forms good habits and helps ensure your child will grow up to be a capable adult. 

    “While it may be easier in the short term to just clean up after your daughter, it’s very important that she develop the sense of responsibility that comes from knowing she can sort out her own messes,” said Stiffelman.

    The effort of teaching your child how to do them pays off, we promise.

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