What is begpacking ?

Do you really know?

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What is begpacking ?

Do you really know?

What is begpacking ?

Begpacking is a portmanteau word, combining the words ‘begging’ and ‘backpacking’. It essentially means begging in order to fund a journey, and the practice has come in for criticism from many quarters. 

Begpackers are mainly young Westerners travelling around the world, particularly in Asia. Some offer hugs or play music in exchange for money. Others simply sit in the street behind a sign reading “Help us to travel around the world”. 

Each begpacker has their own personal situation. Some may be broke, others simply craving further adventures. This somewhat hippy attitude might simply cause a few raised eyebrows in the Western world. But in Asia, it’s really not appreciated by local communities.

In New Zealand, Wellington city councillor Brian Dawson spoke out against begpackers eating in local soup kitchens. Dawson said: “It does annoy me that people think it's a way to get around the country on the cheap...There's a huge difference between doing this for a cheap holiday, knowing that afterwards you can return to another lifestyle."

Begpackers are seen as ignorant when it comes to cultural differences. In Asian countries, begging is a sign of social failure and only justifiable for people in extreme poverty. For a visitor to beg in order to fund their travel is therefore disrespectful to the country’s own population.

Some in South-East Asia take their criticism of the tourism industry even further. They see white tourists as neocolonialists, seeing Asia as an exotic place for their own spiritual awakening.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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What is begpacking ?

Begpacking is a portmanteau word, combining the words ‘begging’ and ‘backpacking’. It essentially means begging in order to fund a journey, and the practice has come in for criticism from many quarters. 

Begpackers are mainly young Westerners travelling around the world, particularly in Asia. Some offer hugs or play music in exchange for money. Others simply sit in the street behind a sign reading “Help us to travel around the world”. 

Each begpacker has their own personal situation. Some may be broke, others simply craving further adventures. This somewhat hippy attitude might simply cause a few raised eyebrows in the Western world. But in Asia, it’s really not appreciated by local communities.

In New Zealand, Wellington city councillor Brian Dawson spoke out against begpackers eating in local soup kitchens. Dawson said: “It does annoy me that people think it's a way to get around the country on the cheap...There's a huge difference between doing this for a cheap holiday, knowing that afterwards you can return to another lifestyle."

Begpackers are seen as ignorant when it comes to cultural differences. In Asian countries, begging is a sign of social failure and only justifiable for people in extreme poverty. For a visitor to beg in order to fund their travel is therefore disrespectful to the country’s own population.

Some in South-East Asia take their criticism of the tourism industry even further. They see white tourists as neocolonialists, seeing Asia as an exotic place for their own spiritual awakening.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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