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放大字體  縮小字體 發布日期:2011-03-24  來源:yeeyan  瀏覽次數:5747

When you first come to China you can almost imagine that it isn’t really that different from home. It certainly isn’t the old China that you see in the movies – women walking around in Qipao, Shaolin monks roaming the streets, temples and pagodas on every corner. In fact, many Chinese cities physically resemble their counterparts abroad, and it can be easy when you first step off the plane to feel like, aside from the funny signs in a different language, not that much is different. But the differences between China and the West are often more subtle and include differences in lifestyle and ways that might not stand out immediately when you take your first forays onto Chinese soil; but you will notice them, in time. Here we look at ways that Chinese lives are different from ours back home.

當你第一次踏上中國這片熱土,你完全會驚訝地發現:它和你的祖國并沒有太大的區別。中國已不再是你從舊電影里所看到的那樣:滿大街都是穿著旗袍的女人,到處可以看到少林寺和尚的身影,寺廟寶塔隨處可見。其實,從外表上看,許多中國的城市正在和西方的城市越來越相似,當你走下飛機,除了對用中文表達的標示感到有趣之外,并不會覺得有何異樣。然而, 中西方社會的差異卻是真切地存在著,只是你初來乍到,難以體會而已,我們一起來看看中國人有著怎樣不同的生活吧。

1) No Car Culture汽車文化
Although car ownership is becoming more common in China, you are just as likely to see people walking or riding bikes as you are to see them behind the wheel. Aside from the obvious health benefits to walking and bike riding, the lack of a car culture in China has a larger effect on Chinese lifestyles than you might first realise. There are almost no drive-through fast food restaurants, for starters, which means that while fast food is popular in China it is not so convenient as to have become a daily part of most people’s routines. Because most Chinese people are not car owners, Chinese cities have extremely well developed public transportation. Lack of car ownership also means less urban sprawl, with most city dwellers concentrated in urban areas near the city center. Although these features of Chinese life are changing, we doubt that cars will completely overtake other forms of transportation anytime soon.


2) On Being a Teen 青少年問題
Chinese culture does not indulge in the idea that kids will be kids or that teenagers are bound to get up to no good. You won’t hear tales from Chinese teenagers about the keggers they went to after homecoming or the joints they smoked under the bleachers. There is no high school football team and no cheerleaders, no yearbook, no senior prom. Instead, young Chinese people spend hours upon relentless hours prepping for their college entrance exams. They are often not allowed to date and while of course teenage puppy love exists, open displays of affection can be grounds for serious punishment or even expulsion in some Chinese high schools. In the West our stories of our wild and crazy youth are a huge part of our collective consciousness, so much so that the topic has spawned countless movies, songs, and T.V. shows, and has shaped how we ourselves view the boundaries between childhood and adulthood. In China, teenagers are still very much children and are expected to do as they are told, get good grades and not disappoint their families.


3) Sense of Community社區意識
The local parks and neighbourhood courtyards are a cornerstone of the social network for Chinese people. After dinner and before the sun goes down, the parks start to fill up with people – older people practicing tai qi, middle aged men playing cards or chess, young people strolling in pairs, and children running around as their parents look on. This evening time is when Chinese families come out to socialize, to gossip with the neighbours, enjoy some fresh air, and get a bit of exercise. While we in the West, especially America, have become paranoid about the predator lurking around the corner, have become isolated in front of our various screens and devices, over here in China the tradition of the neighbourhood community still persists, bringing back good memories to those of us old enough to remember riding our bikes with the neighbourhood kids or sitting on the front porch and chatting with the neighbours.


4) Fresh Food新鮮食物
In China, frozen TV dinners are largely a foreign concept. Each morning you can see the mothers, grandmothers and ayis on their way to the market to buy the fresh produce they need for the family’s meals. Many Chinese families still do not have refrigerators, nor do they particularly see the need for them, as they buy what they need for each day’s meal every day, sometimes even making several trips to the market in one day. Although it is arguably more convenient to make weekly or bi-weekly shopping trips to the big mega-mart, shopping daily ensures less waste, as you only buy what you are sure you will use in a day. Fresh meat and produce is also healthier than processed food, which is largely why Chinese food, despite being cooked in vats of oil, has a reputation for being better for you than Western food.


5) Family First家庭第一
While Westerners certainly love and cherish their families, the traditional family is the cornerstone of the Chinese lifestyle in ways that have become nearly obsolete back home. A traditional opposite sex marriage, for example, is considered essential to happiness and in China, single mothers or unmarried men and women over the age of 30 are rare. Most Chinese families consist of a mother, a father, a child or perhaps two, and one’s elderly parents living in the home and helping the family to raise their children while mother and father work hard to support the family financially. Most Chinese families have sit down dinners each night with all of the members of the family present and the matriarch of the family usually prepares a proper meal with several courses. The loss of this 1950’s-style family model has caused much discussion back home, as politicians rally around the family as a “cause,” the Pat Robertsons of the world need not despair, for better or worse the traditional family is alive and well – in Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an.

珍愛家庭自然也是西方人所崇尚的理念,只是在西方人眼里,中國人至今堅持的傳統家庭模式早已過時。比如,中國人認為傳統的兩性婚姻是人生幸福的必要前提,所以在中國,單身媽媽或過了30歲依然未婚的男女并不多見。 絕大部分的中國家庭是這樣構成的:媽媽、爸爸、一到兩個小孩,他們一起和爺爺奶奶或外公外婆住一起,這樣的好處是老人可以幫助照看孩子,而爸爸媽媽則可以更好地外出賺錢養家。到了傍晚,一家人齊聚一堂,共同分享由長輩們準備的晚餐,這樣的晚餐通常由好幾道菜組成,頗為豐盛。我們在上世紀50年代也曾擁有過這樣的家庭模式,只是如今早已不見其蹤影,這引起了許多學者、政治家的熱烈討論。信奉傳統家庭理念的人們大可不必失望,因為至少在像北京、上海、西安這樣的中國大城市里,傳統的家庭模式依然完好地存在著。


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