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守望盐田

(2010-11-10 10:15:08)
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海南

盐田

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分类: 译作
守望盐田
Keeping Watch over the Salt Pans

守望盐田




海南西北部的海岸线不似三亚或博螯。它原始单调,有别于大部分人关于海南水清海蓝,游人如织的印象。在洋浦半岛上,经济开发区发展得如火如荼,但浓重的工业气息却在新英湾畔一个叫盐田的村子外戛然而止。沿海而布的黑色石头,围起了盐田村200余户人家的百味人生。
    Unlike Sanya or Bo'ao, the coastline in northwestern Hainan is primitive and monotonous, belying the general impression of Hainan as a great tourist attraction with limpid steams and views of a blue sea. On Yangpu Peninsular, a economic development zone thrives, but the strong industrial atmosphere stops short outside a village called Yantian ["salt pans"] by Xinying Bay, where black rocks along the coast surround over 200 households.
    人生百味,终究离不开酸甜苦辣咸。而对于世世代代生活在盐田村的人来说,最主要的一味便是咸。
    There are but five flavors in life - sourness, sweetness, bitterness, spiciness and saltiness. For those who have lived in Yantian for generations, the primary flavor is saltiness.

    盐田村因传承了千年的古法晒盐技艺而得名。分布在海边的7000多块玄武岩被凿成平顶,留有沟槽的就是盐池。村子地处洋浦半岛,隔新英海湾,与渔业重港新英港和海南最大的镇马井镇相望,这两地渔业生产用盐和生活用盐需求量大。村里人说,半个世纪以前,盐田村有50余户人家晒盐,马井镇里还有盐庄,专做盐的买卖,盐业盛极一时,曾贩到广东廉江。如今,尽管晒盐早已不是村民们赖以生存的营生,但盐工们依然保持着盐田“传男不传女,只租不卖”的古训,守着祖宗留下的手艺和家业。
    Yantian Village is so named because it carries on the traditional method of solar salt production, which has been handed down for a thousand years. Over 7,000 basalt rocks by the sea with flattened and grooved tops serve as salt ponds. The village is located on Yangpu Peninsular, opposite Xinying Port, a major fishing port, and Majing Town, Hainan's biggest town, across Xinying Bay. The port and the town need a lot of salt for production and daily life. According to the villagers, half a century ago, the village had over 50 households engaged in salt production, and there were salt businesses in Majing Town; the salt industry was so prosperous that products were shipped to as far as Lianjiang in Guangdong. Nowadays, though salt production has long ceased to be the villagers' means of livelihood, the salt workers still adhere to the traditional admonition that the trade is to be taught to men instead of women and that the salt pans can be leased but never sold, safeguarding the craft and property left by their ancestors.

守望盐田


古法晒盐
Traditional solar salt production
60多岁的谭孟福戴着斗笠蹲在盐田里,低头用白水泥修补破碎的盐槽边。日子用得久了,风吹日晒,加上盐的腐蚀,盐槽边缘有些破损。听到不远处的说话声,谭孟福抬眼望望,盐田里除了几个参观照相的游人外,没有其他人“干工”。他们喜欢把干活说成“干工”。
    Tan Mengfu, aged over 60, squatted in a salt pond in a bamboo hat and, bending down, used white cement to mend the edges of salt troughs, which had been chipped because of aging, the elements, and erosion by salt. Hearing people talking nearby, he looked up and saw nobody but a couple of tourists visiting the place and taking photos. There was no one else at work.
上一季晒成的盐,几天前刚收完,现在是涨潮期,要等潮水退去,天气晴朗,才会有人出来晒盐。提醒游人不要踩踏盐槽后,谭孟福继续低头修补盐槽。一场大雨刚过,天气难得凉爽,趁闲把盐槽拾掇拾掇,好为下一次晒盐作准备。
    The salt of the last season had just been collected a few days ago. Now that the tide was rising, no one would come and make salt until the tide ebbed and the weather turned fine. Having warned the tourists not to tread on the troughs, Tan continued with his work. There had just been a heavy rain, and it was unusually cool. He used the lull to tidy up the troughs in preparation for the next round of production.
这种晒盐前的准备还包括过滤箅的翻新以及卤水槽的修补。过滤箅就是盐泥滤出“卤水”的隔箅。谭孟福说,如今使用的过滤箅是经过三次改良演化而来:最先使用竹子,以为竹片耐蚀,结果竹片滤出的“卤水”不干净,有泥沙漏下,于是改用干稻草,在四周压上盐泥作箅子,结果还是不太理想,最后发现茅草更好用,滤出的“卤水”更干净,韧性也比稻草要好。等过几天太阳好的时候,谭孟福打算把茅草拿出来晒一晒,等晒盐季到来,将旧的过滤箅除去,换上新的,就可以放心制“卤水”了。
    The preparations also include the renovation of the filtering grates and the repair of the brine troughs. A filtering grate is a tool for extracting brine from salty mud. According to Tan, the contemporary filtering grate is the result of three improvements. Bamboo slips were used at first because they were supposed to be resistant to corrosion, but they failed to filter out all the mud and sand. So dry straw was substituted, pressed down with salt mud along the edge, but the result was still poor. Finally it was found that thatch is more convenient, produces purer brine, and is tougher than straw. Tan was waiting for a sunny day to sun his thatch. When the season for making salt came, he would replace the old filtering grates with new ones so that he could count on obtaining fine brine. 
盐工把晒盐前制作的高浓度盐水称为卤水。谭孟福说,这是晒盐工艺的一大进步。过去,祖先们直接用海水晒盐,产盐量可想而知。先制卤,提高海水浓度,再用“卤水”晒盐的方法,大约始于北宋初年,这是洋浦日晒盐工艺发展的关键,从这以后,盐田村的晒盐业便开始兴旺起来。
    Salt workers refer to the very thick salt solution obtained before sunning as lushui, or brine. Tan called it a great progress in the solar salt technique. At first, ancestors simply sunned seawater, and the output was imaginably low. The method of concentrating seawater into brine before sunning approximately dates from the early years of the Northern Song Dynasty. A crucial step in the development of the solar salt technique in Yangpu, it started a thriving salt industry in Yantian Village.
令谭孟福们料想不到的是,这几年,受村外工业发展的冲击,晒盐的人越来越少,而前来参观的人却多了起来。尤其是古盐田被列入国家级非物质文化遗产以后,几乎每天都有人进村参观。为此,政府牵头在村口立了石碑,又在盐田里修了石墩吊桥,方便游人往来。
    To the surprise of Tan Mengfu and others, in recent years, due to the impact of industrial development outside the village, the number of salt workers is dwindling while that of visitors is increasing. Since the ancient salt pans were designated as national intangible heritage, the village has received visitors almost every day. The government has erected a stone tablet at the entrance to the village and built a suspension bridge on stone piers in the salt pans for the convenience of tourists.
不过,常常会有运气不佳的人因为来的时间不凑巧而白跑一趟。这几天就属于盐田的“农闲”季节,除了像谭孟福这样做准备工作的人以外,多数人家都很少到盐田里走动。
    However, many of the visitors have come in vain because they fail to come at the right time. These few days, for example, the salt pans "lie fallow", and most of the households keep off them except the men making preparations, like Mr. Tan.
最适合晒盐的季节是每年的三到七月份,这时阳光普照,气温高,雨水少,台风一般还没光顾。每月两次涨大潮前,提前将盐田耙松,涨潮时,海水漫过海岸,淹到盐田里,盐田充分吸收海水里的盐分后,就形成“盐泥”。大潮退去,经过三五天的暴晒,干燥的盐泥就可以用来制“卤水”了。
    The best season for obtaining salt is between March and July each year, when sunlight is profuse, temperature is high, rain is scarce, and typhoons are unlikely. Twice each month, the salt pans are harrowed loose before the tide rises high. When the tide rises, the seawater submerges the coast and floods the salt pans, which absorbs the salt and forms "salt mud". After the tide ebbs, exposed to the sun for three or five days, the dried salt mud can be used to make the "brine".
“将盐泥倒入盐池,再灌进海水,盐泥里的盐分随着水渗下去,经过茅草的过滤,最后流进卤水池。把卤水倒进盐槽,曝晒一天,到下午就可以收盐了。”谭孟福对晒盐工艺的熟稔,往往会令人误以为他是一名靠天吃饭的盐工。事实上,30多年来,他一直在附近的新英湾小学教书,干到前年才退休。在村里,他的普通话算是说得好的,于是,有访客前来,村里人总是喜欢把客人往他家引,当然也是因为他的热情。每一次在给客人介绍晒盐工艺的时候,谭孟福总要说一说晒盐的辛苦,“起风下雨别人往家躲,我们要往外跑,盐田一淋雨,什么都没了。所以村里的年轻人都不愿再晒盐,辛苦又赚不到钱。”虽然嘴上念叨晒盐辛苦,但几十年来,人生起起落落,谭孟福始终也没舍得丢掉这门老祖宗留下来的手艺。
    "The salt mud is poured into the salt ponds, which are filled with seawater so that the salt in the mud seeps down with the water, filters through the thatch, and flows into the brine pools. The brine is poured into the salt troughs and sunned for a day, and the salt will be ready to be collected in the afternoon." Tan is so familiar with the technique that he is often mistaken for a salt worker, whose livelihood depends on the weather. In fact, he had been teaching at the nearby Xinying Bay Primary School for three decades until his retirement the year before the last. Villagers prefer to take visitors to his home because he speaks mandarin best in the village and because of his hospitality. Whenever describing the technique to guests, he tells them how hard the work is. "When there's wind or rain, you take shelter at home but we rush out to prevent the salt pans from getting wet. So the young people in the village won't take up the work because it's hard and pays little." Despite such complaints, he has never abandoned the craft in the past decades.

未完待续
(to be continued)

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