All public parks have rules governing the behaviour of park users – lighting fires, picking the flowers, dropping litter are among the many prohibitions
These are usually displayed at the park entrances, and in the park itself smaller injunctions are displayed here and there. The prohibitions are usually sensible, for instance: picking flowers is not allowed, nor is littering, nor is disrupting other park users with loud music, or having a dog that is not on a leash. . In the west these rules are usually written in terse language, the prominent word usually being ‘Don’t’!
Of course in China the park users are also exhorted not to behave antisocially, but how these injunctions are phrased is so much more poetic.
Last weekend I was in Xi’an and visited the famous Great Goose Pagoda which is surrounded by a beautifully tranquil park, with lots of trees, bamboo groves and flowering shrubs. It is all kept in immaculate order. There are notices scattered around which are the equivalent to our Western park orders – but see for yourself how different they are!
Philosophic thoughts to encourage good park behaviour! I love it!