Indonesia Needs Better Queuing Etiquette

by Lia Nurdiana posted November 30, 2013

Queuing is not difficult. However something so simple can seem difficult for someone who isn't aware of queuing etiquette, which seems non-existent to those who are always on the rush of getting what they want.


There is a reason why our parents cultivated “queuing” at an early age to obtain the simplest things; queuing for food, tickets, and so forth. By getting in line, it shows we respect and appreciate those around us.


Are you in the habit of queuing? Which countries excel when it comes to maintaining discipline with queuing and which countries that fall into the opposite category? Here are some nations which have the best and the worst culture in queuing:


Admirable queuing culture:

1. Germany

The scene of people queuing is a familiar sight. Why? The Germans believe in an ancient code; Ordnung muss sein or in English, order must be obtained. A system has been established where people don’t have to spend a long time to queue. Even if they need to, queuing for a train ticket for instance, they are provided with comfortable facilities.


2. England

Queuing in England has become part of life. Those not adopting this habit run the risk of being labeled  anti-social by people.


3. Australia

Melbourne is just one of the cities in Australia that sets a great example of this culture. When commuters are waiting for the bus, a line is spontaneously formed. When they are getting off the bus, they patiently wait, and give way to women to step down first.


4. Japan

Japanese people follow rules meticulously and are courteous with one another, including queuing. Getting in line is part of the culture here. However different cities reflect different etiquette. In Osaka for instance, when you are using the escalator, you may stand on the right side, and the left side for those who need to run to catch the bus while in Tokyo, it is the other way round.

5. Russia

This country definitely has rules in place regarding order and discipline, and is a great example to other nations. This is evident in the every lives of its citizen, while boarding a bus or the train. A queue will consciously form, even when they are are hailing a taxi. An invisible queue minder seems to make passengers to wait in order.

The Worst Place in Queuing

1. Indonesia

Are we there yet? Let’s be honest, the only time we queue is when a system is strictly imposed, such as getting in line in a bank. We get a ticket and wait impatiently until our number is up.


2. China

A poor track record here when it comes to queuing. Incidents took place just a day after iPad2 was released in China and iPhone 4 was launched. The line at the Apple store, Sanlitun, went for as long as 100 meters. Impatient crowds pushed forward, injuring four and shattering a glass wall at the store.


3. Vietnam

Vietnam may not be trailing too far behind Indonesia. Bad queuing etiquette can be seen at the airport. Security personnel are often deployed to put passengers in order at the check-in counter.

4. India

Talk about anarchy. People in India think they are not breaking any law by cutting in a line. For example, when you are queuing for a ticket, you will be pushed, nudged, and shoved from different directions. Before you know it, you will be at the back of the line.


5. Thailand

Thais generally don’t like to queue, period. May it be getting on board a bus or paying for food at the cashier. Thai people call this habit as the “sabai effect”. Sabai simply means taking something easily (and comfortably).


To become a nation that respects the culture of queuing takes time and requires great awareness of the culture, and is part of the character of a nation. As long as people are still in the process of forming an identity, the culture of queuing, getting in order and discipline are far away.


So, let’s make queuing a habit. Let’s go Indonesia!

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