…列に並ぶことにかけて、とインドのミント紙のサイトでTjaco Walvisというコラムニスト*1問うている(H/T Mostly Economics)。

Will India become the next Japan, when it comes to civilized queuing?
Anyone who has ever taken a train in Japan will have noticed that the Japanese have turned queuing into an art form. Perfect one-person lines are happily formed at the platforms in front of the markings were*2 the doors will open. The train will arrive exactly on time, and in a calm and orderly fashion everyone will board without a word or an indecent push. Japan is queue-topia.
Although few Europeans enjoy lines as much as the Japanese do, on our continent most people respect the first-come-first-serve-principle and the right of priority to those in front of them. And so the first time I visited an Indian hospital in 2010, I was in for a surprise.


...At the same hospital, but now three years later, I witnessed a heated debate when someone again blatantly ignored the line. A woman in the queue made a polite remark to the queue jumper, who began trying out a range of brilliant excuses on us. The queuers stared him down and eventually he went back in line.
To her credit, the woman also reprimanded the cashier for entertaining the queue jumper instead of the person at the front of the line. And my sense is this is increasingly happening in cafés, restaurants and supermarkets across Delhi, where I live.
The lines at the security check at the Delhi Metro are regularly of nearly Japan-like orderliness, where queues run around corners and can be a hundred metres long at rush hour. Queue jumpers are quite consistently asked to stand in line. It seems that security checks and retail concepts such as Starbucks—where visitors are gently coaxed to queue up—impact social behaviour in a way that transcends to other situations.
If this is a structural change that took place in only two or three years, perhaps an urban civil society is coming of age in India as we watch.
It took Europe around two centuries to develop an engaged middle class. It may take India only a few decades, or less, to acquire such “cultural capital”. This could have profound cultural, business and political implications—for the better.

Mostly Economicsは、確かにそうしたことは重要だ、とした上で、似たような話として韓国人が数十年の間に時間を守るようになった、という事例を示した論文の紹介エントリにリンクしている。


*1:本業はTHEY Indiaなるブランドコンサルティング会社のmanaging directorとの由。