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Napping locals protest noisy roll calls

[ 2009-10-14 13:14]     字号 [] [] []  
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The practice of synchronized roll calls - often used in hair salons, restaurants and shops to attract customers - has come under fire by residents near the Chongwenmen shopping district.

Locals have been complaining for months that noisy roll calls at salons and clothing shops dotted along the 800-m long Xihuashi Street are disrupting their noontime naps. Some salons are accused of turning up loud speakers while the staff chant slogans and do synchronized exercises. One newly opened salon holds three sessions a day.

Wang Lin, a resident who watched the staff at the Yongqi Hair & Face Improvement Shop finish their dancing near her home yesterday noon, said she found the practice was a little extreme.

"I just don't understand why a salon has to go to extremes and draw attention by holding three sessions a day," she said. "Now even the girls at the lingerie shop across the street follow suit!"

Other residents have also had enough. Yesterday, some salons cut short their sessions after local media published a report that a middle-aged housewife with high blood pressure was protesting against the practice.

Pan Yutong, the manager of East Top salon, said he was confused about why the practice has come under attack.

"I don't see why we can't have this sort of session," she said. "It's not that we must have it to keep the business running. It's just a way to help boost morale of the young staff."

A woman customer inside the shop said she noticed the roll call but did not consider it a "fuss". "Every shop does this sort of thing," said the woman.

Experts said the roll call practice in Beijing has not only become an effective and free advertisement for shops but also a stimulant for employers in the relatively low-paid service sector.

"Such roll calls are necessary for small business like hair salons," said Chen Rong, associate professor on market research with Tsinghua University. "But of course, the practice should not be overdone at the cost of residents' interest."

Li Yan, a 19-year-old beauty surgeon from Henan province, said the session often saved her tiring day, which often lasted 12 hours on a single shift.

"We chanted 'I will start refreshed today' and 'A different me'. That's pretty powerful for me," said the girl.


1. What businesses often use synchronized roll calls?

2. Why are locals on Xihuashi Street complaining about the noisy roll calls?

3. Who is the manager of the East Top salon?


1. Hair salons, restaurants and shops.

2. Because they are disrupting their noontime naps.

3. Pan Yutong.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Napping locals protest noisy roll calls

About the broadcaster:

Napping locals protest noisy roll calls

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.