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2015-03-24    来源:原版英语学习    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Chinese people value their family very much because they regard it as a means to keep the family blood stream continuously running. And the running family blood stream maintains the life of the whole nation. That is why children production and breeding in China becomes a focus of all members of families. It is even accepted by them as an essential moral duty. There is a Chinese saying that of all who lack filial piety,the worst is who has no children

The fad that Chinese people pay great attention to children production and breeding can be supported by many customary practices. Many traditional customs about production of children are aN based on the idea of children protection.

When a wife is found to be pregnant, people will say she“has happiness"and all her family members will feel overjoyed over it. Throughout the whole period of pregnancy,both she and the fetus are well attended,so that the fetus is not hurt in any way and the new generation is born both physically and mentally healthy. To keep the fetus in a good condition,the would-be mother is offered sufficient nutritious foods and some traditional Chinese medicines believed to be helpful to the fetus.

After Birth

When a Chinese baby is born,he/she is already considered to be one year old:age is calculated from the date of conception not the date of birth.

Praise should never be given to or applied to a new-born Chinese baby as this is believed to invite the attention of demons and ghosts:the baby,instead,should be referred to with unfavourable terms and words!

A concave navel is considered a sign of a prosperous life for the baby, while an extruding one is less auspicious. If a baby has more than one hair crown it is thought he/she will be mischievous and disobedient, but if he/she has wide and that it becomes nicely rounded.

Babies who continuously cry are thought to have been disturbed by evil spirits and to ward these off, a single pomelo leaf is placed beneath his/her mattress.

Care is also taken to ensure that the baby's spirit does not leave his/her body permanently:a baby's face should not be powdered with white talcum powder when he/she is sleeping as his/her wandering spirit will not recognise his/her face and not be reunited with the body. When a little older, the baby may be fitted with a black bracelet,talisman or image of the Buddha which iS thought io ensure his/her well being.


After birth,the mother is expected to observe a 40-day period of confinement, which is called "zuoyuezi",and to stay in bed for a month in order to recover from the fatigue. During this period,she is not allowed to eat food considered“cold" or have cold baths:keeping warm,by the wearing of thick clothes for example,is considered of paramount importance. If it can be afforded,a special helper-responsible for both mother and child- is hired to tend to the new mother for at least two weeks.

Month-Old Celebration

The first important event for the newly born baby is the one-month celebration.In Buddhist or Taoist families,on the morning of the baby's 30th day,sacrifices are offered to the gods so that the gods will protect the baby in his subsequent life. Ancestors are also virtually informed of the arrival of the new member in the family.According to the customs,relatives and friends receive gifts from the child's parents. Types of gifts vary from place to place,but eggs dyed red are usually a must both in town and the countryside. Red eggs are chosen as gifts probably because they are the symbol of changing process of life and their round shape is the symbol of harmonious and happy life. They are made red because red color is a sign of happiness in Chinese culture. Besides eggs,food like cakes,chicken and hams are often used as gifts. As people do in the Spring Festival,gifts given are always in even number

During the celebration,relatives and friends of the family will also return some presents. The presents indude those which the child may use,like foods,daily materials,gold or silver wares. But the commonest are some money wrapped in a piece of red paper. Grandparents usually give their grandchild a gold or silver ware to show their deep love for the child. In the evening,the child's parents give a grand teast at home or in a restaurant to the guests at the celebration.
The day after the feast, the baby's hair is shaved off; the baby's hair is regarded as“interim" hair and its removal facilitates the growth of“permanent" hair.

Naming a child

In Chinese culture, a person's name has an important role to play in determining his/ her destiny. Because of this,Chinese parents will often spend a long time choosing their child's name and all possible factors must be taken into account when they are naming their children.A typical Chinese name has three characters, in principle these are the family name,a name indicating the child's generation and a personal name .though often the second"principle" is not followed. The generation indicating characters in the names are usually given by the forefathers,who chose them from a line of a poem or found their own and put them in the genealogy for their descendents to use.For this reason,it is possible to know the relationships between the family relatives by just looking at their names.

Naming a child must take into consideration five principles:the name must have a favourable meaning(particularly favoured are meanings reflecting wealth or well-being ) and names with negative possibilities should be avoided,the name must sound pleasant when spoken,the name must reflect favourable mathematical calculations,it must be harmonious with regard to yin and yang,and it must possess one of the five elements of metal,wood,water,fire,and earth.It is a common practice to find the newborn baby's Eight Charocters(in four pairs,indicating the year, month,day and hour of a person's birth,each pair consisting of one Heavenly Stem and one Earthly Branch,formerly used in fortune-telling ) and the element.。the Eight Characters. It.traditionally believed in China  that the world is made up of five principal elements; metal, wood,water, fire, and earth. A person's name is to include an element that he lacks in his Eight Characters. If he lacks water, for example,then his name is supposed to contain a word like river, lake,tide,sea,stream,rain,or any word associated with water. If he lacks metal,then he is to be given a word like gold,silver, iron,or steel.

Some people even believe that the number of strokes of a name has a lot to do with the owner's fate. So when they name a child,the number of strokes of the name is taken into account. When written,each Chinese name has a certain number of strokes,and the number of brush strokes of each character corresponds to a certain element. A two-stroke character is associated with wood,three and four strokes fire, five and six strokes earth and nine and ten strokes water. The total number of strokes in a name can determine a person's fortune:for example twelve strokes bespeaks a life of illness and failure,while 81 strokes presages prosperity and a happy future.

Some parents prefer to use a character from an eminent person's name, hoping that their child inherits that person's nobility and greatness. Characters with
noble and encouraging connotations are also among the first choices. Some parents inject their own wishes into their children's names. When they want to have aboy,they may name their girl Zhaodi meaning "expecting a brother".

One-Hundred-Day Celebration

It is another important occasion to mark when the child is one hundred days old. In ancient times there used to be a grand ceremony, which was called “baisui",Or“one hundred years old".By this name,the Chinese are in fad expressing their wish that their beloved child will enjoy a life of longevity. This celebration is not so common now, so we will not go to details.

One-Year-Old Birthday

When the child is one year old,there is an interesting custom called“zhua-zhou".Zhuazhou is regarded as one of the most important customs on a child's first birthday.

The earliest written record of this custom can be traced back to the Song Dynasty ( 960一1279).In the late Qing Dynasty(1644一1911),this custom prevailedin Beijing. Zhuazhou is not an occasion for grand feasts and elaborate gifts:thehosts do not even send out invitations. The idea is that relatives will show up spon taneously to celebrate the child's first birthday. Gifts from relatives on this day are usually not costly,and do not include such items as gold or silver jewellery. Instead,dimsum or toys are presented to the child. Seniors meeting the child for the first time usually offer a coin to be fastened around the child's neck with thread.This custom is not only applicable to birthdays,but many other occasions,as well.
关于“抓周”的最早的记载可以追溯到宋朝(960一1279 )。清朝(1644一1911)后期,在北京地区尤其流行。抓周时并不需要举行盛大的宴会,不需要精美的礼品,甚至不需要请帖。亲戚们会自发地出席,来庆祝孩子的周岁生日。虽然也会给孩子礼物,但往往不会很贵,不会有金银首饰,通常都是零花钱或玩具。第一次见到孩子的长辈会把一个硬币用线系到孩子的颈上。当然这一风俗不仅适用于生日,也适用于其他场合。

The zhuazhou ceremony usually takes place before the longevity noodle at lunchtime. A wealthy family will install a table on the bed(or“kang”-a heated brick bed used in Northern China ) where stamps,dassic Confucian,Buddhist and Taoist books,a Chinese brush pen,ink, paper, an ink stone,abacus,coins, an accounting book, jewellery,flowers,rouge,food and toys are placed. If the baby is female, the following items are added:a scoop,scissors,ruler, thread,etc.The practice, however, is much more simplified in a common family.  Usually a bronze tray instead of a table is placed on the“kang" and a book from old-style private schools,like the Three-Character Primer, is put on top. Other things include a Chinese brush pen,abacus and a cake. Scissors,and a ruler are added for a girl.

The parents then seat the baby in front of the table or the tray. Without help or guidance from anyone,the baby is then free to choose anything in front of them. The selected items he or she chooses are used to foretell the child's interests, carear and indinafion in the future.

Selecting the stamp means the child will be an officer in the future; if he or she chooses the stationery first,the baby will be industrious and endowed with great literary talents; the abacus suggests a penchant for statistics and financing. A girl baby who first grabs a sewing item or cooking utensil will be a good housewife. On the other hand,when the child picks a cake or a toy,he or she will know how to enjoy the pleasures in life. In the great Chinese literary classis, Hong Lou Meng,or the Dreary of the Red Mansion,Jia Baoyu,the hero,actually grabbed powder and other girls' stuff at the ceremony when he was a child. As a result, he likes mingling with girls very much. It is said that Qian Zhongshu,a very famous scholar in China,took a book at the ceremony.  His father gladly named him Zhongshu,which literally means“book lover",and he proved his penchant for studies later in his life.

The custom of Zhuazhou influences how the parents,grandparents and other relatives will encourage the child,and how they will conduct enlightenment education. Therefore,even though some parents may not be superstitious,they will still carry out the custom. This is also why the custom has been passed on through so many generations and is still practiced to this day.

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