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中国人心中的“家”

2014-01-30    来源:21st Century    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Family roots offer shelter

Chen Yuhang doesn’t know why, but every year when Spring Festival arrives, the 25-year-old civil servant feels a natural impulse to go home. Not to the one he rents in Beijing, but the old apartment back in Jiangxi province. It’s not an easy ride.

不知为何,每年一到春节,25岁的公务员陈宇航(音译)就禁不住想回家——那个江西老宅,而不是这个他在北京租来的家。虽然回家的路途并不轻松。

“It’s like a seasonal spike of emotions. You go through all that toil of taking three trains to get home because you just know you have to go back, no matter what,” said Chen.

“就好像是一次季节性情感爆发一样。纵使需要乘坐三次火车,你也无论如何都要回去,”陈宇航说。

It’s a feeling Chen shares with most people in China at this time of year.

每年的这个时候,很多中国人都有着和陈宇航一样的感受。

What makes home so unique in the Chinese value system, and how its definition is changing according to social values, serves as a key to understanding the character of China as a nation.

那么,到底是什么让“家”在中国人的价值体系里如此无可取代?“家”的定义又是怎样随着社会价值观发生改变的?这是了解中华民族品质的关键。

Family with social functions
家庭的社会职能


Ye Tao, a researcher specializing in folklore at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says the deep roots of family culture come not only from the warmth of being with relatives, but also because the family, as a unit, has long been regarded as an important part of the social mechanism.

中国社会科学院民俗学专家叶涛(音译)说,家文化之所以根深蒂固,不仅仅是因为举家欢聚的温情,更源自于一直以来,家作为一个整体被视为社会体系的一个重要组成部分。

“As Confucius said: ‘cultivate the self, regulate the family, govern the state, then lead the world to peace’,” explains Ye. “The family has been an integral part of the social order since the very beginning of China’s cultural development and extends its impact to the present day.”

叶涛解释道:“孔子云:‘修身齐家治国平天下’,中国文化发展从始至今,家一直是社会秩序不可分割的一部分。”

That’s why China’s long history of a communal and collective lifestyle is so fundamental in shaping people’s attitudes toward home: it is not only a place to live, but also a social responsibility.

这就是为何在塑造中国人家庭观念方面,这种历史悠久的集体社会生活方式会如此重要。家不仅只是一处居所,更是一份社会责任。

Challenged norm
受到挑战的传统


With the growing mobility of the population, young people are leaving home to pursue better education and career opportunities. This trend is challenging family-based traditions.

随着人口流动性的与日俱增,年轻人走出家门去追求更好的教育和工作机会。这个趋势正在挑战中国以家庭为基础的传统。


Shi Jiepeng, a researcher at the Institute of Chinese History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, explains that with horizontal kinships becoming weaker, the urge to reunite with close, or vertical, family members — siblings, parents and grandparents — is becoming stronger.

中国社科院中国历史研究所研究员史杰鹏(音译)表示,随着旁系亲属关系日渐淡薄,和直系家庭成员——兄弟姐妹、父母、祖父母团圆的欲望也就变得越来越强烈。

“The family planning policy has forged strong emotional bonds in smaller families,” said Shi. “It is an inevitable process of society.”

“计划生育政策使得小家庭成员间的情感纽带更加坚固,”史杰鹏说,“这是社会发展不可避免的一个过程。”

Finding escape
心灵港湾


In defining the function of homes for Chinese people, especially the young, Ye Tao says that finding an escape from the rushing tempo of their daily lives serves as the primary incentive for people to go back home today. “Young people are under mounting pressure from all sides,” said Ye. “Home is a shelter where they can return to a simple lifestyle, although only for a brief period of time.”

说到家对中国人,尤其是年轻人所起到的作用,叶涛表示,现如今,想要逃离飞快的生活节奏、寻找一处心灵港湾是人们想要回家的主要原因。“年轻人面临着方方面面、与日俱增的压力,”叶涛说,“家可以让他们返璞归真,回归简单生活,尽管这样的生活很短暂。”

“The warmth of home is the best chicken soup for the soul,” added Shi Jipeng.(21st Century)

史杰鹏补充道:“家的温暖才是最好的心灵鸡汤。”


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