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【中英双语】老外看中国 - CNN:中国春节实录

更新:2016-02-22 16:53:11  |  分享:Seas ( V100 )  |  来源:转载  |  阅读:283

'Evil spirits': The truthabout Chinese New Year
By James Durston, CNN
January 29, 2014 -- Updated 1120 GMT(1920 HKT)


Chinese New Year (CNY) is an exercise in excess,startingwith the train ride back home-- along with 225 million other people. The author's ride from Shenzhen toJiujiang took 15 hours and included a (common) delay of several hours.


During CNY, millions of families reunite to eat, drink andeat, drink some more. Meals can include more than a dozen courses and copiousquantities of beer and baijiu.



Eleven billion liters of baijiu wereconsumed in Chinain 2012. That's a third of all spirits consumed worldwide. Thedistilled spirit can be up to 50% alcohol by volume, makingit a frequent precursor to arguments, frivolity and forgettable karaokesessions

2012年中国消耗了110亿公升白酒. 消耗了全世界三分之一的烈酒。这些白酒的度数至少50%,正因为如此它常让人陷入争吵,狂笑,还有忘记卡拉OK中的歌词。

Karaoke is a popular after-dinner activity. Unfortunatelybaijiu often diminishes a drinker's tunefulness. Thankfully, no one cares


Firecrackers as loud as rifle shots explode throughout CNYto ward off evil spirits. Unfortunately the "evil spirits" don'tinclude hangovers.


Just when you think you've survived the CNY challenge,you're off to lunch to start the whole process over. Festivities repeat eachday for a week.


(CNN) -- I thought I could drink.

I thought I could eat.

I even thought I could sing.

Then, Chinese New Year (CNY) 2013 happened.

I didn't just lose my CNY cherry lastyear; it was ripped out of me, theflesh devoured and the stonespat back in my face.

I wanted to enjoy it. I wanted to fallin love and snuggle up and giggle childishly -- like all first times should be.

Instead I was shocked, slightly abashedand in just enough pain to hope I didn't have to do it again soon.

CNY was, as far as I understood, anannual get together for families and loved ones to enjoy each other's company.

So when my then girlfriend (now wife)suggested we go to her hometown to meet her extended family for the first time,I agreed -- with all the bouncy enthusiasm of a puppy being led to the vet.

I was happy simply to be goingsomewhere, simply to be included, blissful in my ignorance of the anguish thatawaited.

What unfolded was an education inconsumption that nearly matched in three days what I learned in four years as aScottish university student.







所以当我之前的女友(现在的妻子)敦促我们去她老家,尽快与他的家人进行初次会面时,我(立刻)同意了-就像一只活波热情的小狗被领去体检一样 (囧~~~)


The CNY myth

During CNY, millions of familiesreunite to eat, drink and eat, drink some more.


If you do a little research into CNY,you'll be told it's a two-week period during which everyone goes home to honortheir ancestors, worship deities and partake in superstitions and dragon dancesthat hark back centuries.

Right. And Westerners celebrateChristmas by singing hymns, praising St Nicholas and distributing wealth and goodcheer to the needy.

It may go on in some places, for ashort while, but for the most part, in most families, it's about drinking andeating far too much and trying not to disembowel each other over a Pictionaryboard.

The real CNY -- at least myversion of it -- is a similarly non-traditional tradition that revolves aroundfood, arguments and of course baijiu, the sickly, sticky distilled spirit withmore kick than a startled mule.

It is this 100-proof (57% ABV) pungent,nasal-cavity-searing liquid that will forever tinge my memories of that firstCNY experience.

如果你对春节有过研究,你会知道在这两礼拜时间里,每个人都回家去祭祀他们的祖先、祭拜神仙、参加迷信活动还有舞龙,这一切可追溯好几个世纪。是的,这和西方人通过唱诗庆祝圣诞节,歌颂圣尼古拉斯而分享财富、勇于面对窘困一样。无论在何时何地,除非必要,几乎所有家庭都围绕在永远嫌不够的吃喝当中,这期间大家彼此摒弃猜忌剖心置腹。真正的春节-至少我所理解-无非有个共同点-即传统中的传统,围绕着饭菜,一边喝酒一边吹牛,令人难受,变态的自酿酒喝的感觉的就像被一头骡子踢了差不多。这种酒(57% ABV)百分百的刺激,(喝了之后)口鼻里如同流动着滚烫般的液体,这种感觉是我度过的首个春节中留下的最深刻的印象

Baijiu or Bacchus?


It started with a 15-hour train ridefrom Shenzhen to Jiujiang -- because we wanted to "do it properly,like locals."

That's 225 million locals to be precise-- the number of people who traveled by train during 2013's CNY.

It involved quantities of baijiu thatdon't make any sense to our numerically challenged brains.

Eleven billion liters were consumed in China in 2012-- that's one third of all spirits consumed worldwide -- and my new familyseemed convinced they could help surpass that in 2013.

The drinking of baijiu at CNY is aceremonial affair that goes like this: there will be one uncle at the table whoquietly designates himself the "baijiu assassin" -- empty baijiuglasses and sober people are his prey.

His mission, he has decided, is toensure no one can stand up from the table without stumbling and giggling.

His weapon of choice is the toast,which works like this: he will stand, proffer his glass of baijiu towardanother member, say something auspicious about health and fortune for thecoming year, and then drink.

The irony of that act has not yet beengrasped, it seems.

In order to acknowledge and accept thetoast, the toastee must also stand and drink. Importantly, the toastee mustdrink the same quantity as the toaster.

And if you're a "yingguoren"(Englishman) or other "laowai" (foreigner) introduced to the groupfor the first time, you'll often be the subject of these toasts.



Body slams

In fact, all 12 members of the grouptoasted me at least twice. And a "ganbei" and "ceremonial"slamming of the entire glass of baijiu accompanied each toast.

At one point, one of my new"cousins," whose body mass was at least twice mine, decided to paythe ultimate respect by toasting me with three consecutive tumblers full of thestuff.

In the hazy aftermath of what followed,I can vaguely recall a karaoke den, in which I decided "Ben" byMichael Jackson would be a good choice.

Tip: MJ's "Ben" is never agood karaoke choice, even when you don't have to sprint for the bathroom midwaythrough.

But I was no worse than one of my newcousins, who appeared to make the rookie mistake of confusing volume fortunefulness.

Cousin number one, he of thethree-glasses toast, revealed exactly why he was so "respectful" at dinneras he proceeded to dispossess me of loose change in a game of liar's dice.

And so on, and so forth, until the nextthing I saw was my future mother-in-law bursting into the hotel room to feed uscongee, thankfully one of the world's great hangover soothers.

事实上,在场所有聚会中的12人至少轮番敬了我两次, "干杯"和"ceremonial"伴随着大家每次的敬酒和碰杯,有次,我和刚认识的一位体格是我的两倍的哥么,决定连敬我三杯酒,以表达对我充分的敬意。随之而来的是精神恍惚,依稀记得我是在卡拉OK里的包厢,我点了一首"迈克尔·杰克逊的"本"这个选择很不错。

提示: 唱卡拉OK时绝不要点迈克杰克逊的"本",因为在你唱的过程没机会冲向厕所。我那个新哥么也不比我强多少,他那菜鸟般五音不全的嗓音总是跑调。连敬我三杯酒的那位哥们,让我明白为什么他总是在饭局中总这么"客气"因为在玩掷色子赢零钱的游戏中,他总是在耍赖。这一切天天这样,周而复始,直到我碰到一件事,我未来的丈母娘冲进我们住的酒店房间里,要给我们喂粥,值得庆幸的是,这是世界上最伟大的宿醉安慰。

Cracking morning after

I was thankful to have survived theprevious night, until I was told in an airily dismissive way to get washed anddressed for we were to have lunch soon, and the celebrations would begin allover again.

Hangovers and firecrackers. Not a nicemix.

The only way I could have felt worse isif a thousand firecrackers were going off just outside the window.

Which they were.

Those firecrackers, unleashed upon somany hungover skulls each CNY to symbolically drive away evil spirits, werelike audible nails being hammered into my ear canals.

If there is a pairing moreunfortunate than the year's most alcoholic night followedby the loudest morning after, I've not heard of it.

The second day went much like thefirst, and the third day went much like the second.

Thankfully, 2014 is not going like2013.

We're staying home. In Hong Kong. With a bottle of red.








19 hours ago
Howmany families have you surveyed before making this "Evil spirit"report? I understand that you had a bad experience, but, trust me, they havebeen trying their best to entertain you. If you were not welcome there, nobodywould like to toast you. You can politely tell them that you can not drink thatmuch, or, if there is no problem with your bladder, you can just ask theirconsent to use non-alcoholic beverage as substitute when they toast. Cheers~


James DurstonCNN Eugene
12 hours ago
HiEugene, and thanks for your thoughtful comment. In fact I had a great time,enjoyed the immense hospitality my wife's family bestowed upon me over theentire week and would recommend it to anyone. This is a somewhattongue-in-cheek report, based on one experience, designed to highlight onesmall facet of the Chinese New Year festive period - that of the drinking,particularly of baijiu. I'm actually looking forward to another - though as yousuggest I'll learn how to say "That's enough for me" next time!

(回楼上), Hi 尤金,感谢你体贴的回复,事实上,对于我来说那是一段非常美好的回忆,整个星期我都沉浸在妻子家人的热情款待中,并且(我还会把这段经历)推荐给其他人,这是一个有点搞笑的报道,基于我工作经验,我就是想刻画出中国春节期间的一个侧面—"喝",特别是白酒。我真的期待下个(春节)-对于你的建议,下次我会学着这么说"別灌我了"

fluffyJames Durston
43 minutes ago
Iunderstand, James. I found the story witty and entertaining. Alas, Commentlandconsists almost exclusively of humorless PC zealots.


Hewas simply pointing out the culture clash.
Butseriously... "Ask their consent to use non-alcoholic beverage"... ASKCONSENT? Even in your statement you have eluded to the fact that it is nearlyimpossible to NOT have baijiu dumped down your throat during the Chinese NewYear.
It'ssimply one of those major differences in culture that are a once a year type ofdeal and therefore not easily acclimated to.



Yetmore Sinophobia from CNN.

我X ,CNN真让人怕怕啊

It's not sinophobia - it's an article about cultureclash. Come on... please.


a White guy writing about China with a Chinese wife,says it all doesn't it? It says to me "don't even bother readingthis"


Indeed probably can't speak a lick of Chinese either...


SunandanK Shangheyed
Not easy to learn unless you take a serious interestin learning it.


Pretty much spot on, although Iwouldn't have used the same acronym used for the Chinese Yuan (CNY), it made ita difficult read.
"The drinking of baijiu at CNY is a ceremonialaffair that goes like this: there will be one uncle at the table who quietly designates himself the "baijiu assassin" -- empty baijiu glasses and soberpeople are his prey." 100% accurate, at least for the past 11 SpringFestivals I've been here.



That was funny! No need to delve into thinkinganything else about the narrative except what a funny episode it was


There is a lot more to CNY than baijiu and karaoke.THis is the time where we give our wishes to each other (parents wish childrenlots of success at school, children wish parents good health). We will then goand pay visits to elders of the extended family, to dear friends, to relatives,to neighbors, always giving them the best of wishes. Kids will be allowed towear new clothes (for those families who can afford).There is also food that iscooked specially during the New Year. Karaoke is just a modern form ofentertainment. There is of course playing cards, mah jong, etc. I wish thereport had been more complete!


chinese thieves stop stealing our islands senkaku andculture. looks like japan needs to civilize you again.


They selected a coachpotato to do a travel article


A funny, and well written travel piece, unlike somuch of the travel crap published by CNN.


The author clearly should have stayed in Kansas....international adventure is not for everyone. I did his trip in 1986 and 1994...he hasn't a clue what CNY is about.
Further, I would hate traveling with you mate!
What ever happend to adventure, Carpi Diem... butmake sure you complain about EVERY THING along the way... you wouldn't make ifpast the first week in my company on the road.



oh he is from Kansas? oh lawd...
DeaconStan, Jesus Man
Well, firecrackers during a hangover is a real donkeypunch, but I can't help but notice you being such a wuss about it.