内容

华裔父母的伤心泪:遭子女抛弃的文化根源
Estranged parents and cultural value clashes

 
 
潘女士是一位二十世纪五十年代来到美国的单亲母亲。在经营一家小企业的同时,她在美国这异国他乡独自一人把孩子拉扯大。潘女士的四个孩子是美籍华裔下一代成功的典范。从律师到企业家,她的子女们功成名就,享有令大多华裔人士所羡慕的成功事业。但是,潘女士的晚年生活却凄凉悲惨。当她被一个孩子赶出家门后,其他子女也都给她吃了闭门羹,不让她入住他们享受的山顶豪宅。潘最后在政府经营的老人公寓去世,临死前悲愤交加。

Ms. Pan, a single mother, came to America in the 1950s and brought up her children in the adopted land by running a small business. Ms. Pan’s four adult children are a typical Chinese American success story. From lawyers to entrepreneurs, they enjoy a remarkable career coveted by most Chinese Americans. But Ms. Pan’s senior years revealed a far grimmer experience. After she was kicked out from her own home by one of her adult children, none of the others wanted to live with her by taking her into their luxury homes. Pan died alone in a public senior care centre – in agony and anger.


对于许多加拿大华裔来说,为了孩子而牺牲自我是天经地义,理所应当的。作为回报,他们希望其晚年能老有所依,子女能担当其为其养老送终的义务。但是许多华裔都有一把子女不孝的辛酸泪,他们遭忽视被遗弃,有些子女甚至毅然决然的离家出走,与其彻底断绝关系。如果潘的故事代表了老一辈移民的不幸遭遇,许多当代华裔父母们似乎也在劫难逃。

For many Chinese Canadians, sacrificing their own lives for their children’s success is a natural choice. In return, they expect their adult children can provide caregiving duties as they age or when they are ill. But many of them would tell a disturbing story that they are ignored, abandoned or cut out from their adult children’s lives altogether. If Pan’s story represents a heart wrenching experience of an older generation, modern-day parents also suffer a similar plight.


在加拿大长大的亨利,由其母亲单独抚养成人。他的父母维持着两地分居的夫妻关系。在中国工作的父亲仅负责给母亲和儿子提供生活费。进入大学以后,亨利开始疏远一直与他形影不离,多年生活在一起的母亲。亨利的离去让其母伤心不已。

Henry has grown up in Canada, with most of his childhood living with his mother alone. His parents have maintained a long-distance relationship, with the father working in China to provide the mother and the son. When Henry entered university, he began to estrange himself from his mother – the one who brought him up and lived all the years along with him. Henry’s departure broke the mother’s heart.


虽然这些家庭矛盾背后的原因诸多且因人而异,但东西方文化价值的冲突,尤其是轻视家庭关系的北美家庭价值观是的主要原因之一。
 
While the reasons behind these family fractures could be manifolds and individualized, a clash in east and west cultural values, especially the North American culture that plays down the value of family ties could bear a major blame.


在重视自我而轻视家庭的北美文化影响下,夫妻会根据自己的情感或事业需要做出是否生活在一起的决定,而这一决定很少将子女的状况和需求考虑在其中。这种“我”字当头,一切为己的心态剥夺了父母们对孩子责任感,损害了他们与孩子之间的感情纽带,使孩子们认为家庭不是一个不可分割的单元,有谁没谁都无关紧要。

As individualism, rather than family ties is highly valued in the North American culture, couples would make choices of living separately or together based on their own career of emotional needs, giving little consideration of their children’s wellbeing. Such a me-first mentality that supersedes parents’ sense of duty would weaken their ties with their children, leaving children less likely to see themselves as part of an unbreakable family unit. 


亲眼目睹大量被子女抛弃案件的旧金山心理学家乔舒亚•科尔曼(Joshua Coleman)指出:“如今,维系成人子女与父母关系仅仅剩下相互间的感觉了。”。在北美,离开父母和家庭被视为是自立和独立的象征,而这种精神不断受激情的鼓励和倡导。在子女对父母养老的义务逐渐在中国消失的今天,西方和北美文化根本就不知道什么是孝敬父母,而且认为强迫子女承担这种孝敬义务是对子女的虐待。

But “Little binds adult children to their parents these days, beyond whether the relationship feels good to them,” said San Francisco psychologist Joshua Coleman who has seen a sharp rise in estranged parents. Abandoning parents and family is seen as a virtue of being self reliant and independent, which is enthusiastically encouraged and advocated by all North Americans. While providing caregiving duties to senior parents could be a gradually disappearing phenomenon in China, filial obligations are an unfamiliar term in the West. Under the North American culture, forcing such obligations on children is considered abuse.


一名网民在讨论与子女关系的论坛上张贴:“对美国人来说,要子女对父母遵从,尽子女义务和责任的说教实际上是对子女的虐待,它阻碍子女追求人自由及自我实现其人生目标”。

“Teaching the children of the vice of yielding, duty and responsibility is in fact abuse to Americans and restraining their desire for individual freedom and personal winning in life,” a disgruntled parent posted on a forum on estranged parent. 


在流行文化的影响下,养育子女将是父母所做的最糟糕的投资决策,这也是为什么北美的生育率在不断下降的原因。

Under the influence of prevailing culture, rearing a child could be the worst investment decision a parent has ever made, which can also explain the continuous declining rate of child-birth in North America.  


躺在政府养老院的床上的潘女士临终遗言:“我生命中最大的遗憾就是养了四个不孝之子!”

“My biggest regret in life is to have raised four ungrateful apes!” the dying Ms. Pan said on her senior home bed. 
 

我们鼓励所有读者在我们的文章和博客上分享意见。We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit the FAQ page for more information.

验证码
请输入验证码