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【转载】美籍华裔女孩回国敬酒的尴尬经历  

2014-02-17 03:02:26|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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博主注解:本文是我家二宝写的故事。我代表孩子感谢国内所有宴请过我们的亲朋好友们。这篇文章仅以二宝的姑姑为例,二宝算是对事不对人吧。希望二宝在国内的所有长辈们能体谅孩子的一番心情。二宝写的是英文,中文翻译是由我来完成的。本文已经发表于<<汉纳>>杂志第四期。

 

我在中国敬酒的痛苦经历/Toast in China

大概每隔一年,我和家人都会回中国过暑假。每次回国,我们都很开心。我们去不同的地方玩儿,我学了很多新东西。我们既参观了中国的著名景点,也到一些鲜为人知的小地方去旅游。所有的这些旅游经历都让我感到很快乐。

总的来说,中国人比美国人讲究正式的礼仪。具体来说,去中国的餐馆或亲戚家赴宴,比在美国要紧张多了。我,身为中国人的后裔,会比很多人更容易适应中国习俗;但作为一个外籍人,要想完全理解中国文化和礼仪几乎是不可能的。2011年我和家人回国时,我有过一次失败的敬酒经历。这次回国,我依然担心在某个正式的晚宴上,我还得向宾主们敬酒。因为我的中文口语并不能应用自如,敬酒时我总是惊惶失措,不知说什么才好。

这次我们回国六星期,假期已过了四分之三时,我很幸运一直没有人让我敬酒。可在中国逗留的最后几周内,难以避免的敬酒事件终于又来了。有一天,我二姑邀请我们和她的中国朋友们一起吃晚餐。身为中国人,他们都很懂敬酒之道。二姑让我站起来给大家敬酒,她认为,会敬酒是成熟和自信的表现。我一听,立刻呆住了。

在美国,从来没有人让我给谁敬酒。首先,我年龄不够,根本就不能喝酒;第二,对一个高中生来说,这种场合太正式了。一见此状,我紧张忙乱地让我的妈妈救我!虽然妈妈帮我周旋了一下,但她并没有免去我的尴尬,也没有消除二姑对我的失望。我只好私下给二姑一个人敬了酒,尽量打发这个难堪的场面。最后二姑还算满意,不再责怪我了。

又过了几天,妈妈、弟弟,还有我,又被邀请去姑姑家聚餐。唉!敬酒的事儿又来了。我们每个人的酒杯里都有酒,临到让我给大家一一敬酒时,我心里悄悄地说,这里都是家人,快点儿结束敬酒吧。我总觉得,我是否给大家敬酒,从长远来看,对他们并没有什么意义。

尽管我是这样想的,我还是站起来,给每一位叔叔、阿姨和客人敬酒。

当我给二姑敬酒时,我向她表达了我诚挚的谢意,并感谢她对我的慷慨帮助。当时我没有告诉她,但现在我觉得我应该让她知道,我感谢她让我明白了一个事实:让一个在美国出生的华裔在中国文化中生存,是多么的困难重重啊!                                                     

 

Toast in China

 

 

Every other year, if not every year, my family and I travel to China during summer vacation. Each time, we do fun things, go to new places, and learn new things. We have been to both popular tourist attractions and obscure sights, all of them new experiences and sources of happy times.

In general, Chinese people tend to have much more formalities than American people do; it got to the point where going to any dinner or relative’s house was thousands of times more stressful than that in the US. I, being with Chinese roots, I can say it was much easier than most to adapt to Chinese customs, but as a foreigner, fully understanding the culture is a feat that is arguably impossible to accomplish. Because of a debacle during the last time my family visited in 2011, I dreaded the inevitability of having to toast host and guest during an oh-so formal dinner. The idea of standing up and speaking, in a less-than-fluent language, caused so much stress as I struggled to figure out what and how to speak.

Up until about three quarters of the six weeks stay in China, I successfully avoided the toast. But during the last few weeks of the stay, the inevitable event finally came. My second aunt on my dad’s side invited us to a dinner with other colleagues that were Chinese and therefore much more accustomed to the art. My aunt invited me to stand and toast everyone. She told me that it was a mark of a sociable and confident person. I instantly froze up.

No one in the US had ever asked me to toast wine, one because I couldn’t even drink wine, and two, it was much too formal for any of the events of a high schooler. I frantically begged with my eyes for my mother to save me, which she did. It didn’t save me from the embarrassment and the disappointed pity of my aunt. I partially made up for it by privately toasting my aunt, and she somewhat regained respect for me.

Fast forward a few days. My mother, brother and I were again invited to a dinner, this time at my aunt’s house. Again the toast issue came up. We were all poured wine (some a lot more than others). This time when the toast came around, I just thought to myself to, quite simply, just get over it. I told myself that those people were family; however I toast wouldn’t mean much to them in the long run.

I got up and toasted each aunt, uncle, and guest there. When I reached my second aunt on my dad’s side, I toasted her for all the obvious reasons: thanks for the hospitality and generosity. I didn’t tell her at the time, but I now know that I should have thanked her for helping me, however bluntly, learn something new that day: one part, however difficult for an American born Chinese, of what it takes to survive in the world of Chinese culture.

 

 

 

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