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中国夫妇不爱羊年出生的宝宝

2014-05-13    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Chinese couples rush to get pregnant before dreaded Year of the Sheep

据《华盛顿邮报》报道,有些人生来就是幸运的,然而中国的父母们可不想仅凭机遇来决定他们孩子的命运。

Some people are born lucky. Parents in China, however, would rather not leave their kids’ fate to chance.

For the past few weeks, many couples have been trying desperately to conceive, racing against time to have a baby in the fortuitous Year of the Horse. Their reasoning: No one wants a baby born in 2015, the dreaded Year of the Sheep.
Sheep are meek creatures, raised for nothing more than slaughter. Babies born in the Year of the Sheep, therefore, will grow up to be followers rather than leaders, according to some superstitions. The children are destined for heartbreak and failed marriages, and they will be unlucky in business, many Chinese believe. One popular folk saying holds that only one out of 10 people born in the Year of the Sheep finds happiness.

Health professionals say fertility consultations have spiked in recent months. Some doctors even have expressed worries that there may be a corresponding jump in abortions later this year, as couples realize they missed the horse-year cutoff.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Year of the Sheep (also called goat or ram) begins Feb. 19, 2015, so the window for conception closes around the end of this month.

Many patients have inquired about early delivery via Caesarean section to ensure a horse-year birth, said Li Jianjun, an obstetrician at Beijing’s United Family Hospital.

Some doubt the furor will have a significant effect on the Chinese birthrate this year. But the babymania is so widespread that the state-run China News Service issued a report trying to debunk the “unfounded” myth of bad luck for those born in Year of the Sheep.

“We try our best to dissuade couples from believing the sheep superstitions,” one official at China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said. The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to give an interview, said the subject has become such a prominent issue that it is often addressed in classes for would-be parents.

But the medical professionals do not have an easy sell. The official said that even her colleagues at the disease-control center are obsessed with the supposed luck a horse year brings.

‘All that pressure’

It’s unclear how the Year of the Sheep came to acquire its bad reputation.
Each of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac has it virtues and faults. The undisputed favorite is the dragon, often followed by the tiger and the horse — an energetic animal closely associated with success, according to Chinese sayings.

Even rats (considered clever and agile) and snakes (which look like mini-dragons) are considered lucky. But sheep have fewer advantageous qualities, according to some interpretations.

Those born in sheep years are thought of as passive, loyal, generous and kind. Some of those virtues may be wonderful in an ideal world, but not so useful in the dog-eat-dog real world.

“It’s an unfair and outdated superstition,” said Dong Mengzhi, 74, honorary president of Beijing’s Folk Literature and Art Society. “But it’s a convenient way for many to explain an unpredictable world.”

Unfair or not, one of the first things Zhang Xiaolei’s parents did when she got engaged in 2012 was to sit down with a Chinese zodiac calendar.

“We all agreed to hurry up and avoid the sheep,” said Zhang, 26, a government worker in Shangdong province.

Her husband quit drinking and started exercising in an effort to increase his fertility. Zhang went on a diet and got more sleep. But after a year and half of trying, nothing.

“I don’t know what happened,” she sighed. “Maybe it was all that pressure.”

She and her husband — both born in a dragon year, the luckiest of all — have consoled themselves with the hope that, if they do conceive later this year, their baby will be that one lone sheep in 10 to find happiness.
Others who fear they will miss their window have flocked to support groups that have sprung up online.

Boom periods

While demographers acknowledge the Chinese zodiac’s cultural importance, some have thrown cold water on the idea that it affects birthrates on a national scale.

Some Chinese provinces and hospitals have at times shown increases in births during lucky animal years and decreases in sheep years, but there is no discernible effect on national demographics, according to Duan Chengrong, a population expert who in 2003 published one of the only studies available on the phenomenon.

“It doesn’t mean it isn’t a factor,” he said by phone last week. “But its effects are likely diluted and overshadowed by others.”
Among the factors that have affected China’s birthrate in recent decades, and complicated the interpretation of such data, are political and economic upheaval and the government’s one-child policy.

In other countries, demographers have also grappled with theories of baby booms linked to specific events.

In the United States, for example, New York newspapers famously announced a boom in pregnancies after the massive blackout of 1965, during which couples supposedly had nothing better to do than procreate. But such a phenomenon was debunked in later years by population experts.

For those in China most schooled in the mystical arts of fortunetelling, all this attention to the Chinese zodiac calendar year is wasted.

“Ordinary people only care about the zodiac because it is much easier to understand than the truth. To us true feng-shui masters, the zodiac doesn’t matter at all,” said Wen Chaoliang, 39. “What matters most isn’t the year you are born but the exact time of delivery.”


Feng shui is the ancient art of arranging objects or numbers to improve luck.
For $500, Wen said, he has been helping couples pick the most fortuitous hours for their planned C-sections­.

For an extra $130, he throws in a lucky name. For $3,000, he will rearrange your home’s furniture to ensure the best possible future for your child.
“Don’t you want your baby to be successful? Don’t you want your baby to be healthy and beautiful?” he said. “Think about it. Isn’t it worth it?”

相关内容

过去几周内,许多夫妻拼命努力地尝试受孕,争分夺秒地想要在幸运的马年生下一个宝宝。他们的理由很简单:没人想在可怕的羊年要小孩。

羊是一种温顺的动物,养着就是为了长大后宰掉吃肉的。按照一些迷信的说法,羊年出生的小孩长大后会像温顺的羊一样永远只能追随别人、永远都成为不了领袖。很多中国人认为,羊年出生的孩子注定要遭受痛苦的心碎,失败的婚姻和生意上的霉运。其中一个流传甚广的民间说法是在十个羊年出生的人中只有一个能找到幸福。

健康专家表示,近几个月的生育咨询数量大增。有些医生甚至担忧年末会有大量的夫妇因错过马年生育而选择堕胎。

根据中国农历日历,羊年(亦称山羊或绵羊年)从农历2015年2月19日开始,所以今年要想赶上马宝宝的末班车就要在本月月末怀孕。

北京和睦家医院产科医师李建军表示,很多夫妇都询问过可否通过剖腹产以提前在马年产下孩子。

有些人认为这种“马年赶着生小孩”的狂热会给今年中国的出生率带来巨大影响。这种过度狂热、且大幅传播的“婴儿潮”促使官方的中国新闻社专门发表了一期报道,以揭穿“羊年生的小孩走霉运”这种“毫无根据”的民间传说。

中国疾病预防控制中心一名不愿透露姓名的女官员表示,“我们正尽力规劝夫妇不要相信所谓的羊年迷信。”她表示,关于羊年的迷信已经成为一个很严重的问题,甚至很多时候需要专门的课程来帮助“准父母”们在这方面答疑解惑。

但医务人员不容易。这位官员说,即便是她在疾病控制中心的同事,也对这种马年好运的说法深信不疑。

“全都是压力”

没有人清楚羊年霉运的臭名是从哪里得来的。

中国的十二生肖各有优缺点。最受人们喜爱的生肖当属龙、虎和马,因为根据中国的民间说法,这三种充满力量的动物往往会带来成功。

即便是老鼠(通常被认为是聪明和灵巧的)还有蛇(看起来像是一条小龙一样)都被认为是幸运的生肖。但就一些对生肖的解读而言,羊的优点却寥寥无几。

羊年出生者通常被认作是被动,忠诚,慷慨和善良的人。这些品德在理想的世界里或许是美好的,但在“狗咬狗”的现实世界中却没什么用途。

“这是一个不公平的、过时了的迷信,”74岁的北京民间文艺家协会名誉主席董梦知说,“但是对很多人而言,这是一种便于用来解释不可预知世界的方法。”
不管这个生肖的说法公不公平,张小蕾2012年订婚时,她父母首先做的事情就是坐下来仔细地研究中国的黄道日历。
“我们都想要快点生孩子,避免赶上羊年。”26岁的山东省政府工作者张女士说。
她的丈夫戒酒同时也开始了锻炼,努力提高生育率。张女士也开始节食并且增加了睡眠。但是经过一年半的尝试之后,张女士还是没有怀上孩子。
“我不知道怎么回事,”张女士叹息道,“可能都是迷信带来的压力。”

张女士和她的丈夫都出生于最幸运的龙年,他们安慰自己“如果在今年后段怀孕,他们的孩子一定会是十个羊年生人中的可以找到幸福的那一个”。

其他担心错失生育良机的夫妇纷纷蜂拥向迅速涌现的在线支持组寻求帮助。

繁盛时期

虽然人口学家承认中国十二生肖文化的重要性,有些人还是向这种文化泼来了冷水,因为他们认为这种文化影响了全国人口的出生率。

根据人口学专家段成荣所言,虽然中国的一些省份和医院的新生儿出生数屡次在幸运生肖年和羊年之间起落,但是它对国家人口却没有什么明显的影响。段成荣先生在2003年出版了对这一现象研究仅有的几部可用专著之一。

“这并不意味着生肖迷信没有影响,”他在上周的一次电话通话中说,“但这种迷信的影响可能被其他因素的影响给淡化或者掩盖了。”

在近几十年来影响中国人口出生率的因素中,使这些数据很难解读的一大部分原因就是政治经济动荡和独生子女政策。

在其他国家,人口统计学家还坚持着婴儿潮与特定事件有关联的理论。

比如在美国,纽约的报纸曾宣布,在1965年大规模停电后,怀孕者数量大增,因为在这期间夫妇可能除了生育之外没有什么其他可以用来消遣的事情了。但在一些年后,人口专家揭露了这种现象的真实原因。

对于中国那些精于算命的人而言,所有对中国生肖日历年的关注都是徒劳的。

“平常人仅仅关注生肖而非真理是因为生肖更加简单易懂。对我们而言真正有影响的是风水,而非生肖,”39岁的文超良说,“对你命运真正有影响的不是你出生的年份而是你出生的具体时间。”

风水是一种通过合理安排物品或数目来提升运势的古老艺术。

交五百美元,文超良就会帮助夫妇挑选最幸运的时间进行剖腹产。
再交130美元,他就会给孩子起一个交好运的名字。交3000美元,他就会重新安排你家具的位置,以确保孩子最优秀的未来发展。

“你不想让你的孩子成功吗?你不想让你的孩子健康可爱吗?”他说,“认真考虑考虑吧,这不是很值得的交易吗?”


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