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抛弃历史包袱 拥抱多元文化
Time to abandon cultural baggage and to embrace multiculturalism

编者按:华裔社区不愿意主动接触或是排斥其他族裔人士的态度,或许可以从中国历史中寻根溯源。但是这种态度可能会阻碍华裔社区成员融入加拿大社会。Nancy Jin在本文中写道,现在影视是摆脱昔日阴影,拥抱多元文化的时候了。

Editor's Note: Lacking a willingness to reach out or shutting themselves out from people in other races may find its roots in Chinese history. But that attitude may hinder community members’ ability to integrate into Canadian society. As Nancy Jin writes, it’s time to get rid of shadows past and embrace multiculturalism.

作为加拿大移民,在我们不能说母语时,英语往往是唯一的沟通工具。但是,当我们和故乡的同胞进行交谈时,通常都会在不知不觉中很快说起自己的母语。的确,我们说中文很方便也很自然,而说第二语言英语却比较困难和笨拙。

As an immigrant in Canada, English is often the only communication tool when speaking our first language is not an option. But when we engage in a conversation with our hometown peers, we would quickly slide into our mother tongue. Indeed, we speak Chinese easily and naturally as opposed to the difficult and awkwardness of a second language.



在加拿大,虽然尽情地讲国语回我们失去提高英语水平的机会,华裔移民沉迷于说中文已经变成社区的一种社会规范。然而,那些敢于挑战社会规范,设法寻找各种机会说英语的人士却常常严重受挫。他们通常被视为怪异、愚蠢和势利之徒,甚至可能遭到同胞的排斥。

As such, indulging in Chinese among Chinese speakers has become a social norm in the community – despite the apparent downside that we lose our opportunity to improve English. However, those who are defiant against the social norm-- in trying to seek every opportunity to speak English—are often hit with backlash. They are often labelled as weird, stupid and snobbish, and may even be outcast by their peers.

来自中国的尖子生露西给我讲了一个故事。当她的会计班同学被要求分小组进行课程项目讨论时,所有来自中国的学生又都自然地组成一组,并且全都是用中文进行讨论。

Lucy, a top student from China, belongs to the defiant group. When the students in her accounting class are asked to work on a group project, as usual, all the Chinese students formed a group, and the discussion on the project was entirely in their native tongue.



小组成员称:“咱们小组里全是中国人,都是华裔只说中文。说中文最方便……也便于相互理解和彼此帮助。”

”It’s a Chinese only group -- only and Chinese language only.”  The group members said.”It makes our life much easier… We understand each other better and can help out one another.”

但是,当露西带来一个不会说中文的同学加入小组时,她因为打破了陈规而成为所有小组成员的众矢之的。

But when Lucy brought a classmate into the group – a male Caucasian who doesn’t speak Chinese--she had rocked the boat as all her group members turned angry towards her.



“你不能这么干!……因为他我们都不得不说英语……你知道这么做给我们带来这多少麻烦吗!”

“You can’t do this to us… We all have to speak English because of him… You have caused us so much hassle and stress!”

尽管露西表明自己的目的是为了提高大家的英语水平,但他们的愤怒之情却丝毫没有减少。

When Lucy said the purpose is for everyone to improve English, the resentment wasn’t slightly diminished.



“你是不是疯了?你怎么说都是中国人!他是个鬼佬,我们小组没有他的位置!”

“Are you out of your mind? You are a Chinese no matter what! He is a Gui Lao (foreigner) and he has no right to be in our group!”

更糟糕的是,露西还因此被指责为叛徒,被指背叛了她的中国朋友。

Worse yet, she was accused of being a traitor, who had purposely betrayed her own.



露西的小组成员的行为,或许能凸显出中国留学生存在的普遍问题,即他们宁愿形成了一个孤立的群体,却不愿意提高自己的英语技能。

The behaviour of Lucy’s group members may underscore the general perception of Chinese international students -- they form in isolated groups and lack a willingness to improve English language skills.

加拿大商人汤姆向我讲述了其公司以往的招聘经历,而这件事至今仍令他心有余悸。

Tom, a Canadian businessman, told me his company’s hiring experience in the past that has baffled him till this day.



据汤姆称,曾有一名来自大陆的女留学生曾应聘其公司职位。尽管她在光鲜的简历中吹嘘自己的英语水平,并强调自己是毕业于加拿大名牌大学,可她在面试中的英语口语能力却令人不敢恭维。

According to Tom, a female applicant who came to Canada as an international student responded to a job post from his company. But despite her glorious resume boasting her English proficiency and stating that she graduated from a well-known Canadian university, she showed little verbal English competency during the interview.

汤姆边说边摇头,显露出失望和难以置信的神情:“我简直不敢相信……她连一个正确的英语句子都说不出来,她是怎么从那所大学毕业的?”

“I can’t believe it… How could she possibly graduate from that university – but cannot put together a proper English sentence?” said Tom, shaking his head in disbelief and disappointment.



她在学校里可能很少说英语,或是在小组讨论中根本从未使用过英语。不难想象,她当成很可能就是一名有意孤立讲英语人士的小组成员,或是排斥那些欲与其他族裔交友的中国同学们。

She probably rarely spoke English at school, or never used English in group discussions. It isn’t surprising at all if she belonged to a group of students who intended to isolate English speakers or wanted to outcast her Chinese peers who were defiant.

但是,这种不愿意主动接触甚至排斥其他族裔人士的态度,并不只是存在于中国学生中,而是存在于整个华裔社区中,在所有年龄层次和社会群体中都有体现。

However, the attitude -- from lacking a willingness to reach out, to excluding people from other races-- has not only been present among students, but has also existed in the entire community – among all ages and social groups.



以我近20年的移民经验来看,我发现那些用英语和中国朋友进行交流的人士往往被认为是势利或好炫耀之人;那些说英语有口音、语法错误或讲蹩脚英语的人往往会遭到嘲笑,尽管嘲笑者的英语口语“更烂”;而那些努力拓展交际圈的人士往往被认为是讨好鬼佬。

As an immigrant in Canada for nearly two decades, I have witnessed the anomaly that those who communicate with a Chinese friend in English are considered snobbish or trying to show off; those who speak English with an accent or broken English are laughed at – despite their own spoken English might be even more broken. Those who make efforts to outreach are often judged as trying to please GuiLao.

中国在历史上有相当长的时间一直处于封闭状态,可能有助于解释为什么许多中国人都会选择排斥其他种族。但是随着历史的变迁,世界已经发生改变。随着中国向世界开放,有越来越多的中国人选择出国追求梦想。

The fact that China had virtually remained in isolation for much of its history may help explain why many Chinese people choose to shut themselves out from other races. But the world has changed as history evolves. Today, waves of Chinese people choose to pursue their dreams in foreign soil as China opens up to the world.



对于我们来说,或许现在是我们摆脱历史阴影,抛弃文化包袱,在支持多元文化价值观的加国接纳其他族裔的时候了。

Perhaps it is time for us the get rid of our old shadow and abandon the cultural baggage, and to include other races in the adopted country that values multiculturalism.

至于我,我重视所有可以练习英语的机会,因为我认为要想在加拿大成为重要的社会成员,并享受加国生活,英语至关重要。

As for me, I value all the opportunities to practise English, because I believe English is the key to becoming a valued member in society and to establishing a decent life in Canada.

因此,尽管其他社区成员反应消极,但我仍会利用一切机会说英语,无论其听起来有多别扭或是有多蹩脚。

Despite the negative reactions from other community members, I want to take every opportunity to practice English, regardless of how awkward it sounds or how silly I may be.

编注:本文曾在2012年4月《大中报》上发表。

Note: The story was published in Chinese News in April, 2012.





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