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幸福的神秘国度:不丹

2015-03-06    来源:En8848    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

幸福的神秘国度:不丹
Once upon a time in a country far, far away lived a most unusual king who proclaimed that in his tiny Himalayan kingdom, “Gross national happiness is more important than gross national product.” Although most of us give lip service to the cliché, “Money can’t buy you happiness,” in our hearts we believe a big pile of cash can make a sizable down payment and put smiles on our faces. To us, if a country’s economic development isn’t measured in dollars, it doesn’t make sense. So the story of Bhutan sounds like a fairy tale.
从前,在一个很远很远的国家,住着一位不同寻常的国王。他在那个小小的喜马拉雅王国宣布:“国民幸福总值比国民生产总值更重要。”虽然我们大多数人口头上认同这样的老生常谈——“金钱不能买到幸福”,但我们心里仍然相信一大叠钞票可以让你付清一笔相当金额的首付款,从而让我们面露笑容。一个国家的经济发展不以金钱来度量,这对我们来说根本说不通。因此,不丹的故事听起来就像天方夜谭。

Even Bhutan’s nicknames—Land of the Thunder Dragon, the Kingdom in the Clouds, the last Shangrila—evoke a fantasyland. I’ve come here for a reality check, to immerse myself in Bhutanese culture, to see if fairy tales do come true and people can live happily ever after.
仅仅是不丹的绰号——“雷龙之境”、“云中王国”、“最后的香格里拉”——已经能让我们联想起仙境。我来这里验证事实,让自己沉浸在不丹文化里,看看童话故事是否成真,人们能否真的“从此过上幸福的生活”。

It’s not Sunday, but I’m in church or rather, a Buddhist temple inside our hotel in the city of Paro. The monk is conducting a ceremony, offering us blessings for a safe journey and giving us packages of prayer flags to take along. Their significance becomes clear a couple of days later when I arrive at Dochula Pass just above 10,000 feet on a fog-shrouded, narrow, no-shoulder highway. Religion isn’t just “A Sunday Kind of Love” for the Bhutanese. Buddhism is part of daily life, the foundation of the culture.
虽然今天不是星期天,但我身处教堂,或者更确切地说,是帕罗市内我们所住酒店里的一座佛寺。僧人正在进行一种仪式,祈愿我们旅途平安,还给了我们一包包经幡随身携带。几天后,当我来到位于10000英尺(3048米)高处、云雾缭绕、没有路肩的狭窄的多奇拉隘口时,经幡的重要性开始显现。对不丹人而言,信仰不是一种“星期天的爱”;佛教是不丹人日常生活的一部分,是不丹文化的根基。

Isolation from the outside world used to shelter Bhutan’s unique culture, but that’s changing. A 94-year-old local tells me, “When I was younger, I kept hearing stories about big powerful machines called trains that could carry people quickly over long distances. I wanted to see one for myself, so I walked six days to the Indian border. There I hitched a ride on a truck, which was the first motorized vehicle I’d ever seen, and rode ten hours to see my first train.”
过去,不丹的与世隔绝庇护了其独特的文化,但现在这种情况逐渐发生改变。当地一位94岁高龄的老人告诉我:“我年轻时经常听说火车的故事,这种强大的机器能很快地将人带到很远的地方。我想亲眼看看火车,于是徒步走了六天去到印度边境。我在那里搭上一辆卡车,这是我平生见过的第一辆机动车。坐了十个小时的卡车之后,我看到了人生的第一辆火车。”

Bhutan still doesn’t have its own trains, but in 1962 it got its first road and in 1983 its first (and only) international airport. Now I’m one of only about 25,000 tourists who find their way here each year. Far greater outside influence arrives via satellites and computers thanks to King Jigme Singye Wangchuck—the fourth Dragon King of Bhutan—having lifted the ban on television and the Internet in 1999. Will this new technology “bring good things to life,” as the TV commercial goes? I can only report that for the half hour I spent watching people watch TV, the crowd was mesmerized by the latest episode of Bhutanese Idol.
虽然不丹现在仍然没有火车,但这个国家在1962年建成了国内第一条道路,1983年建成国内第一个(也是唯一一个)国际机场。每年仅有大约2.5万名旅客能到此游玩,我便是其中之一。更大的影响来自卫星和电脑,这要感谢不丹第四世国王吉格梅•辛格•旺楚克在1999年解除了对电视和互联网的禁令。这样的新科技是否能像广告所说的那样“带来美好生活”?我只能这样汇报:我花了半个小时观察人们看电视的情形,人们都被最新一集的《不丹偶像》迷住了。

Traveling the country, I visit the village of Kingathang, where a local farmer invites me to try some fresh-brewed arra, the local spirit. He gives me a tour of his home and introduces me to the 12 family members, covering four generations, who live together under one roof. It is a scene I will see repeated again and again—old caring for young, young helping old, and all regarding it as the natural order. While visiting people in their homes, I also visit monasteries and temples to try to understand the philosophy that shapes the culture and inspires the national policy of Gross National Happiness.
在这个国家旅行时,我探访了金加桑村。一位当地农民邀请我品尝当地新鲜酿造的“阿拉酒”。他还带我参观了他的家,向我介绍了他的12位家庭成员——他们四世同堂,住在同一屋檐下。这是我后来反复看到的一个画面——长护幼,幼助老,所有人都视之为自然秩序。除了到当地居民家中拜访,我还游览了各大寺院,试图理解这种塑造了不丹文化、启发了“国民幸福总值”这一国家政策的哲学思想。

I save the best temple for last, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, nestled 10,200 feet high on the side of a cliff. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche, who is credited with bringing Buddhism to Bhutan, was carried here on the back of a flying tigress. The monastery followed in 1692, built to mark one of the most holy sites in Bhutan. Fortunately, given today’s shortage of flying tigresses, I can follow a foot trail to the top. I planned to ask a monk some grand question about the meaning of life. Instead, once I arrived I had more pressing concerns and simply requested a new set of knees so I could make it back down the mountain. I’m not sure I gained any insights into the secret of Gross National Happiness up here, despite the great view.
我把最好的寺院——虎穴寺留到最后。这座寺院嵌在10200英尺(3109米)高的悬崖壁上。据传,将佛教带到不丹的莲花生大师骑着一只会飞的雌虎来到此地。1692年,此地修筑了虎穴寺,以纪念不丹最重要的圣地之一。虽然今天没有会飞的雌虎,但幸运的是我还可以沿着一条小径登上山顶。本来我打算向僧人提一些关于生命意义的宏观问题,但是最后,当我终于到达那里时,我却有了更为迫切的问题:我只求一对新的膝盖,好让我下山。我不确定自己在这里得到了什么关于“国民幸福总值”之奥秘的启发,不过此地风光确实绝美。

Who knows whether the people in the faraway Kingdom of Bhutan will live happily ever after, but for now it’s official government policy to foster that goal. And according to people who measure such things, the Bhutanese are in fact the happiest people in Asia and among the happiest in the world. My advice: See this country before it changes. There aren’t many places like it. Some of the contentment here may be contagious. A bit of it even rubbed off on a cynic like me—at least for the time I was in Bhutan.
谁也不知道这个遥远的不丹王国里的人们是否能够“从此过上幸福的生活”,但至少现在促成这一目标已经成为当地政府的官方政策。另外,据衡量这些指标的人说,不丹人实际上是亚洲乃至全世界最幸福的人群之一。我的建议是:在这个国家改变之前来看看吧。世界上像这样的地方不多了。这里的满足感也许具有传染性,甚至像我这样愤世嫉俗的人也被感染了些许——至少当我身在不丹时是这样。

【重点词汇】
cliché ['kli:ʃei] n. 陈词滥调,老生常谈
mesmerize ['mɛzməraɪz] vt. 施催眠术;迷住;以魅力迫使
monastery ['mɒnəst(ə)rɪ] n. 修道院;僧侣



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