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龍應臺:正眼看西方

(2010-10-08 11:58:06)
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分类: 中译英

View the West with Impartiality

說台灣非常崇洋?

People say that Taiwan idolizes foreign cultures?


好像是的。不管貨品好壞,一加上洋文包裝,就有人趨之若騖。走進豪華大飯店,侍者對外國客人殷勤備至,對自己的同胞卻往往視而不見。有難題存在,總要打上 有礙國際觀瞻的字號才能得到快速的解決,如果有政客來訪,記者最強調的,是此人對台灣印象好不好。在教育上,當年背誦床前明月光臣密言、臣以險釁的一代,現在忙著送下一代到英語幼稚園讀哈羅,你好嗎。每年夏天一批一批優秀或不優秀的青年乘著一架又一架的七四七到西方去接受頭腦與精神的改造。到了彼岸,大部分就不再回頭。

 

It seems to be the case. Regardless of the quality of the product, when it’s labeled in a foreign language, people will flock to buy it. Upon entering a luxury hotel or restaurant, one sees that the service people are obsequious to foreigners, but oblivious of their compatriots. In order to get a speedy resolution to a thorny problem, one must always refer to the possible damage to Taiwan’s international image. Whenever a foreign dignitary comes to Taiwan, the reporters always want to emphasize his opinion of Taiwan’s image. Regarding education, the generation who used to proudly recite Chinese poetry and classics, are now rushing to get their children into kindergartens that teach them how to say ‘hello’ and ‘how are you’ in English. Every summer waves of brilliant and not so brilliant young people take jets to the west to ameliorate their brains and spirits. After they cross the ocean, most of them never return.


可是台灣真的祟洋嗎?

But does Taiwan really idolize foreign cultures?


好像又不是。一個金髮朋友在動物園裏看檻欄裏的猴子,旁邊一個年輕人突然大聲說:哇塞!猴子看猴子!周 圍的人愉快地大笑。這位中文非常好的朋友一句話不說地走開。認為西方人是猴子、鬼子、蠻子的中國人可還真不少。中國菜世界第一,中國人會用筷子真聰明,中 國人講禮義廉恥、重倫理道德,西方人卻功利現實、人情澆薄。中國的夫妻一夜就有百世的恩情,西方的男女輕薄隨便,道德敗壞。中國人在制禮作樂的時候,西方 人還在茹毛飲血呢!

 

It doesn’t really seem so. One fair haired friend of mine was looking at monkeys in the zoo, and suddenly a young man beside him shouted out, ‘Hey look, a monkey is watching monkeys!’ The people around them burst into laughter. My friend who understood Chinese left without saying a word. There are not just a few such Chinese who still regard foreigners as monkeys, barbarians and ‘foreign devils.’ The Chinese regard their cuisine as the finest in the world and consider themselves smarter because they can use chopsticks. The Chinese have higher moral standards and follow rules whereas westerners are more mercenary and very superficial. To a Chinese couple, one night together results in feelings lasting for a lifetime; whereas, most westerners tend to be promiscuous and have little sense of fidelity. When the Chinese were handing out moral concepts and building civilization, the westerners were still barbaric, eating raw and bloody meat.


如果說台灣祟洋的心理很深,那麼反洋的情緒卻一點兒也不弱。寫文章的A,一旦提到西方的優點,就得趕忙下個注解:我不是祟洋! 作為招架之用。祟洋這個辭本身就是個罵人的話,表示我們的社會一方面深深受西方文明的吸引,一方面心底又有很深的排拒感。在這兩種衝突的情緒左右之下,就產生許多奇怪的現象。

 

If you say that Taiwan has a strong tendency to idolize the west, its xenophobia is no less. Writer A would always add to any suggestion he made that the west had any advantages a caveat that he was not idolizing the west. The fact that the phrase ‘idolizing foreign cultures’ is negative in connotation indicates that on the one hand our society is deeply attracted to the western civilization and on the other hand, we have a strong aversion in our hearts. Our society being torn between these two conflicting feelings gives rise to many strange phenomena.


譬如說,如果某個生在台灣的金髮小孩說,我要作中國人,我不要回美國,或是哪個傳教士說,我熱愛中華文化,我把一生獻給中國,我們的報紙會大加喧騰,每個中國人都覺得得意。反過來說,如果一個生於美國的中國孩子說,我不要作中國人,或一個留學生膽敢宣佈我熱愛美國文化,我要獻身美國,恐怕 很少中國人不氣憤填胸,罵這個人是數典忘祖的叛徒。也就是說,別人仰慕我們理所當然,我們卻絕對不可以欽佩別人。這個心理怎麼解釋?

 

For example, if a Taiwan born fair haired westerner says, ‘I want to be a Chinese and I don’t want to go to the U.S,’ or a foreign missionary says ‘I love the Chinese culture and would like to devote my life to China,’ our newspapers would applaud their actions profusely and every Chinese would feel validated. On the flipside, if an American born Chinese says, ‘I don’t want to be a Chinese,’ or a Chinese international student dares to claim that he loves American Culture and would like to devote himself to America,’ I’m afraid that many Chinese would resent and be angry at this and call him a traitor. In other words, we expect other people to look up to us, but we never allow ourselves to really appreciate other cultures. How can you make sense of this mentality?


許 多父母千方百計地把兒女送到國外,以逃避台灣的聯考制度。這些父母被指責為祟洋媚外。而事實上,在台灣凡是作父母的,大概心頭都有一個解不開的結:希望孩 子無憂無慮地長大,可是在教育制度的箝制下,不得不眼看著他眼鏡愈戴愈厚、書愈讀愈死、精神愈逼愈緊張。如果有機會,哪一個父母不希望兒女能逃過這個制 度?在這種情況之下,有父母送子女出國,我們不沉痛地檢討教育制度的缺失,問為什麼台灣留不住人,反而拿出崇洋的帽子來指責,這不是也很奇怪嗎?

 

Many parents use whatever means they can to send their children abroad so as to escape from Taiwan’s national examination. These parents are being criticized as being the ‘idolizers of foreign cultures.’ But as a matter of fact, all parents in Taiwan have unresolved concerns regarding their children’s welfare: they all want their children to have a care-free childhood, but with the current education system being so repressive, they have no choice but watch their children wearing thicker glasses and becoming bookworms and nervous wrecks. If there was a choice, what parent would not want their children to get away from this education system? Under the circumstances, when we see parents like these, we are not repentant nor examining the flaws in our education system and asking why Taiwan is losing them, instead labeling them as ‘idolizers of western cultures.’ Isn’t this a strange phenomenon?


掙紮在祟洋與排外兩種心態之間,我們有時候就像個同時具有自卑感與自大狂的個人。 對人,做不到不卑不亢。許多人對金髮碧眼的人固然是討好賠笑,過度的諂媚,也有許多人特意地表現自尊而故意以傲慢無禮的態度相對。我們的駐外人員有時在簽證手續土刁難外人,所採的大概就是我偏要整你的心理。在自卑與自大的攪混之下,對事我們就做不到客觀冷靜。在討論台灣種種社會問題時,常發現三種直覺的反應。其一是:怎麼,老說咱們不好,西方就沒這些問題嗎?

 

Struggling between the feelings of idolization and rejection of the west, sometimes we seem like schizophrenics with dual personalities, one self-pitying and one arrogant. Thus we cannot be objective in our interaction with others. Obviously, there are many obsequious people, just as there are those who want impress foreigners of their patriotism and pretend to be rude and arrogant intentionally. Our overseas stationed staffs, because of this kind of mentality, sometimes would deliberately make it difficult for visa applicants. Because of this mixture of arrogance and self-pity, we cannot see things as objectively as we should. When we discuss social issues about Taiwan, we usually get three different spontaneous reactions, one being ‘Why are we being so critical of ourselves. Does this not happen in the west?”


我可不懂,台灣有的缺點,與西方有什麼關係?難道說,好,義大利也臟,所以台灣臟得有道理?墨西哥的污染也很嚴重,所以我們污染沒有關係?別的國家有相似的問題,於是我們的問題就可以隨它去?不管西方有沒有類似的問題,我們仍舊得正視自己的缺陷,不是嗎?

 

I don’t understand it. Being that it’s Taiwan’s problem, what does it have to do with the west? If Italy had this problem, does that mean Taiwan does not need to fix this problem? Does the fact that Mexico is heavily polluted mean that pollution is not a big deal in Taiwan? Is it true that as long as other countries have the same problems, we can just let ours go? So regardless whether the west has similar problems, we still have to confront ours, is that not true?

 


第二種反應是:你老說歐美文明進步,你崇洋!這種說辭完全是感情用事。如果有人說歐洲乾淨,那麼正常的反應應該是,第一問,歐洲乾淨是否事實?第二 問,乾淨是不是我們想要的東西?如果兩問答案都屬肯定,那麼第三問:我們如何傚法,做到乾淨?整個程式和祟洋不祟洋扯不上一丁點的關係。

 

The second reaction is: ‘You keep saying the west is more advanced. You are idolizing it!’ Such a reaction is totally emotional. If someone says that Europe is clean, the normal reaction should be to: One, ask whether the fact that Europe is clean is true, and two, ask whether ‘cleanness’ is something that we also want to have? If the answer to both of these two questions is yes, then we should ask what we can do to make Taiwan clean. The entire logic has completely nothing to do with whether one is idolizing foreign cultures or not.


第三種常出現的反應,尤其來自官方,是說:那是西方的,不合台灣實情!不合台灣實情是個很重的大帽子,一方面罵人家崇洋、一方面罵人家不切實際,一方面也擋住了改革的呼求。什麼建議或觀念,只要加上西方的標幟,就容易以不合台灣實情來打發掉、而事實上凡是西方的,不一定就不合 台灣實情不合台灣實情也不表示不能作。公德心不合台灣實情吧?我們要不要公德心?近一代民主是西方的,我們要不要民主?守法似乎也不合台灣實情, 我們要不要守法?

 

The third most common reaction, which usually comes from the government, is that ‘that is western, and does not fit Taiwan’s current reality!’ Such a ‘not fitting Taiwan’s current reality’ actually has some very broad meanings. It does not only criticize the speaker as being an idolizer of foreign cultures and being impractical, but it also quells the demand for reform. Whatever the proposals or concepts, as long as they are labeled ‘Western’, they will be easily dismissed by ‘not fitting Taiwan’s current reality.’ However, not everything western is ‘not fitting Taiwan’s current reality,’ and things that are ‘not fitting Taiwan’s current reality’ are not necessarily not doable. Being ‘civic minded’ may not be ‘fitting Taiwan’s current reality’, but shouldn’t it be a part of us? Modern democracy is western, but don’t we also need it? Living by the law seems not ‘fitting Taiwan’s current reality,’ but shouldn’t we live by the law?


這三種反應都很情緒化;我們應該關切的是歐美一些價值觀念或行為值不值得我們擷取。如果值得,那麼不管西方不西方,都應該見賢思齊,努力地去祟洋 如果不值得,那麼不管西方不西方,我們都不要受誘惑。但是我們若不能清除掉對西方的情緒作用——盲目地媚洋也好,義和團式的反洋也好——我們就永遠不可能面對西方,就事論事,作客觀而合理的判斷。

All three of these reactions are emotional. What we should focus on is whether the western values and behaviors have attributes that we should emulate. If they have, it shouldn’t matter whether it is ‘western’ or not, we should accept it as worthy of ‘idolizing’. If they don’t, it shouldn’t matter either, and we should resist the temptation of accepting it. If we cannot resolve the emotional influence against foreign and western cultures, -- either blindly idolizing them, or blatantly dismissing them – we will never be able to face the west without prejudice and make objective and reasonable judgments.


當一個西方人說:在台灣吃東西有中毒的危險,過街有被撞死的可能。中國人臟、亂、嘈雜、粗魯的時候,大概沒有幾個中國人不勃然大怒的,但是我不,因為我知道,當中國人從東南亞或其他地區回來的時候,他們也說:哇!那邊好落後,吃東西有中毒的危險,上街會被撞死。他們又臟、又亂、又吵,真受不了!” “他們聽了又如何?用自家一把尺量天下的,不僅只西方人而已。這個世界,有醜陋的美國人,也有醜陋的日本人、德國人、法國人,你想,就少得了醜陋的中國人嗎?

 

When a westerner says,’ there’s a risk of getting food poisoning when eating in Taiwan; or being run over by a car when crossing the street, or that the Chinese are dirty, messy, loud and rude,” very few Chinese wouldn’t become furious at these statements. But I wouldn’t, because I know when the Chinese return from travels to southeastern Asia, they also complain that, ‘Wow, they are backwards. You can get poisoned eating there and easily run over by a car. They are so dirty, so messy, and so loud, totally unbearable!’ How would ‘they’ feel at hearing it? Comparing others in the world by your own standards, is not limited to just westerners. In this world, there are ‘ugly’ Americans, ‘ugly’ Japanese … Germans and Frenchmen. How could you imagine that there would be no ‘ugly’ Chinese?


更何況,聽到別人批評時,正常合理的反應應該是,先問他說的是否真有其事?若真有其事,如何改進?在聽到西方人的批評之後,或者因民族情緒高漲而勃然大怒,或者特別為了討好西方而快馬加鞭,都是不正常的心理表現。

Moreover, when we hear criticism from others, the normal and reasonable reaction should be to ask first, whether it is a fact, and if so, how I can improve. When we hear criticism from foreigners, it is not a normal psychological reaction to either get furious out of your strong sense of nationalism, or be over-accommodating because of your desire to please the west.


收音機裏聽到立法委員說:我們出去考察,發覺歐美國會議員都有助理,我們沒有,害我們很不好意思……”說得理直氣壯,我聽得一頭霧水:因為他們有,所以我們也要——這 是什麼邏輯?但是今天好像這個現象很普遍:紐約有地下車的塗鴉畫,台北也要有,不管有多難看。美國有自由女神,咱們也來個孔子大像,不管是否實際。這是心 理上的奴隸。反過來,別人出國深造,我偏不出去,我愛國。西方講開放容忍,我就偏講保守的美德;西方人談尊重個人,我就偏說團隊至上。西方愈怎麼樣,我就 愈是不怎麼樣。這,也是心理上的奴隸。我們必須除去這個心魔,才能正眼看著西方——他們反核,我們要不要?他們反污染,我們要不要?他們有休假制度,我們要不要?他們講性開放,我們要不要?每一件事作客觀冷靜的、不自卑不自大、不情緒反應的探討,中國人才有可能從西方巨大的陰影中自己站出 來。否則,祟洋或反洋,我們都是別人的奴隸。

 

On the radio, a legislator said that ‘when we are on business trips, we found that all European and American congressmen had their own assistants with them, but we didn’t, which made us feel lesser...’ He said it adamantly, but I was blown away by this argument: ‘since they had them, we should have them’ – what kind of logic is that? But such a mentality is very common these days: Since there is graffiti in the subways of New York, so therefore, Taiwan should have it, despite its ugliness. Since America has the Statue of Liberty, so therefore, we need a giant ‘statue of Confucius,’ despite its impracticality. This mentality is being psychologically enslaved. On the flip side, ‘since other people go abroad to study, I would not because I am patriotic.’ “The west values ‘openness and tolerance’, whereas I would value the virtue of conservatism.” “The westerners espouse ‘individualism’, whereas I espouse ‘collectivism’.” ‘Whatever the west embraces, I would do the opposite.’ Again, this is psychological enslavement. We must rid ourselves of this shackle and view the west with impartiality – If they oppose nuclear proliferation, should we too? If they are getting rid of pollution, should we also? They have paid vacations, should we? They tolerate sexual liberation, should we? For each separate issue, we should consider it objectively, neither with self-pity nor with arrogance, and discuss it without any negative emotions. Only by using these parameters, can the Chinese stand out from the giant shadow of the west. Otherwise, whether we ‘idolize’ or ‘oppose’ to foreign cultures, we will always be the slaves of others.

原載一九八五年五月一日《中國時報·人間


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