外语教育网
您的位置:外语教育网 > 英语文化视窗 > 文学与艺术 > 散文 正文
  • 站内搜索:

ABC与香蕉

2006-02-20 00:00Jenny

  “ABC” and "banana"

  A professor of mine once told a story about when she went to the United States to study.A native Eritrean, she had received a scholarship to pursue a bachelor's degree at an American university. The university organized a trip to Disneyland for her and the other international students. Before the group of international students went to Los Angeles, the coordinators of the trip informed the students from Africa that they should wear their "traditional" costumes, not Western-style clothing.Why?The coordinators were afraid that the African students would be "mistaken" for African-Americans simply because their skin color was also dark.At that time, the 1960s, there was still much overt racial discrimination against African-Americans.Insgroupsto avoid trouble, the coordinators wanted to make sure that their African students did not look African-American.

  ABC与香蕉

  我上大学时的一位教授说起过她来美国上学时的一件事。作为一个厄立特里亚人,她得到了到美国上大学的奖学金。学校为她以及其他国际学生组织了一次去迪斯尼的出游活动。在这批国际学生去洛杉矶之前,活动组织者通知来自非洲的学生要穿上他们的传统彩衣,而不要穿西方人的衣服。这是为什么呢?组织者是担心非洲学生因其肤色是黑的而被误认为是美国黑人。在那时候——二十世纪六十年代,仍然存在着很多公然针对美国黑人的种族歧视。为了避免麻烦,组织者想确保自己的非洲学生看上去不像当地黑人。

  She ended her story by asking us to think about what we thought she was before we had met her. Her last name is Italian; did we think she was Italian? When we first saw her, did we assume that she was a black American?How much can we really know about a person based upon hair color, skin color, facial structure or body shape?

  Identity is a difficult subject to discuss because it is so personal, and it is even more difficult to describe someone's identity clearly in a country like the USswheresjust about everyone's family came from somewhere else. My professor, until she left Eritrea, always considered herself Eritrean.When she got to America, however, people looked at her and saw a black woman, not an Eritrean woman. Similarly, Japanese, Koreans and Chinese people come to the US and are often just called "Asians".Appearance is used as the main condition for identity, although appearances can be quite deceiving.

  她讲完了这段故事,要我们想一想在我们见到她之前是怎么猜想她的。她的姓是意大利人的姓,我们是不是以为她是意大利人?当我们第一次见到她时,是否以为她是个美国黑人?通过头发颜色、皮肤颜色、面部结构和体型,我们能真正了解一个人多少呢?

  一个人的身份是个难于讨论的题目,因为这是一个太个性化的问题。而在美国这样的国家,要想清楚地描述一个人的身份就更困难,因为这里几乎每一个人的家庭都来自另一个地方。我的这位教授在离开厄立特里亚之前,一直认为自己是厄立特里亚人。然而,在她到了美国之后,人们看到她后便见到了一个黑人妇女,并不知道她是厄立特里亚妇女。同样,日本人、韩国人和中国人到了美国后通常被叫做亚洲人。人的相貌是身份的主要方面,虽说相貌有时是很具有欺骗性的。

  Is there a difference between a Chinese person born in China and a person born in the US to parents from China?Most people would agree that there is.There are certain phrases that people frequently use insgroupsto define the Chinese-American identity. The two most commonly heard terms are "ABC", meaning an American-born Chinese, and "banana".The former is often considered an acceptable label for people of Chinese descent born in the US; in Canada there is the corresponding term "CBC" for Canadian-born Chinese.The second term, banana, is usually regarded as derogatory or offensive, and it refers to someone who is "yellow" on the outside but "white" on the inside.

  The phrase ABC is used so commonly that many people think it is an appropriate description of Chinese-Americans.However, the phrase hides what I think is a very dangerous belief about identity. Identity is developed and learned, not given at birth.To say that someone is an American-born Chinese is to suggest that if that person were born anywhere else in the world, he/she would still be fundamentally Chinese because Chineseness, the quality of being Chinese, is inherent in this person.It implies that an ABC is Chinese first and just happened to be born in the United States.Yet being Chinese is not an inherent quality that one person has simply because he or she looks Chinese.Just about every Chinese-American recognizes that there are huge differences in personality, behavior and physical appearance between themselves and their native Chinese counterparts.

  一个生在中国的中国人与一个父母来自中国但生在美国的人之间有什么不一样吗?多数人会同意有所区别。有一些人们常常使用的惯用语用来界定美国华人的身份,两个最常听到的是“ABC”和香蕉,前者是“出生在美国的中国人”的英文缩写,通常被认为是可以接受的用给出生在美国的中国人后裔贴的标签;在加拿大也有相应的说法“CBC”,用来指在加拿大出生的中国人。第二个惯用语香蕉,通常被认为是贬义的或是冒犯人的,它是指某人外表是黄皮肤而内心却是白人的一套。

  ABC一词被用得如此之广泛,以至于很多人认为用它形容美籍华人挺合适。然而,这个词隐藏着我认为是对身份而言很危险的信条。身份是后天发展起来的,是不断学来的,并不是出生时就定下来的。说某人是出生在美国的中国人,也就暗示着这个人不管生在世界的什么地方,可从根上还是中国人,因为中国特性,也就是作为一个中国人所具有的品质是此人固有的。它暗含着一个ABC首先是中国人,只不过碰巧生在了美国。然而,一个中国人的品质,并非仅仅是因为他或她长得像中国人而固有的品质。几乎每一个美籍华人都意识到自己与土生土长的中国人在个性、举止、外表等方面有着很大差异。

  These differences are what the term "banana" addresses.Bananas are yellow-skinned but with white insides - for people, this is meant to describe individuals who look Chinese but whose "insides", that is, their behavior and personality, are "white".But this also carries a demeaning and offensive undertone: that these people are only half-real, they are neither completely Chinese nor actually white. Even worse, the term is sometimes used to suggest that Chinese-Americans really wish that they were white.Being white, of course, is assumed to mean being American, which is a third misconception.Not all Americans are white, and in not too many years the majority of the population in America won't be white (i.e. of purely European descent) at all.

  Identity for everyone is a matter of experience and circumstance, not skin color or general appearance.What terms like ABC and banana ignore is that being Chinese-American constitutes a very real identity in its own right.Chinese-Americans are not necessarily caught between the East and the West.The Chinese-American identity is one that has developed over many generations in the US (since the 1840s), but one that can also be shared by recent immigrants and their families.It is important because it is different, because it is the product of blending social and cultural influences, and these differences should be recognized and not brushed aside.

  这些差异正是“香蕉”一词所要说明的。香蕉外黄里白——对于人来说,这用来形容那些看上去是中国人但是“内里”也就是举止、个性都是“白人”式的。但它具有贬损和冒犯人的含义:这些人只是一半真实的人,他们既不是完全的中国人也不是真正的白人。更糟的是,这一叫法有时被用来暗指美籍华人实际上希望自己是白人。当然,一个白人会被认为是美国人,这是另一个错误概念。并非所有的美国人都是白人,用不了很多年,美国人口的多数就根本不会是白人(也就是纯欧洲人的后裔)了。

  每个人的身份是经历与环境造就的,而不是皮肤的颜色或一般的长相所界定的。ABC与香蕉的叫法所忽略的是:一个美籍华人自身就包含着非常实在的身份。美籍华人并不一定在东西方的文化中左右为难。美籍华人的身份是那种自19世纪40年代起在美国繁衍了好几代的人,与那些最近移民到美国的人及其家庭是不一样的。身份之所以重要,是因为身份各不相同,也因为它是社会影响与文化影响相融的产物。这一区别应该被人们所认识,而不该受到忽视。

相关热词:英语 散文 阅读

上一篇:Going Home回家

下一篇:A Little Piece of Me

栏目相关课程表
科目名称 主讲老师 课时 免费试听 优惠价 购买课程
英语零起点 郭俊霞 30课时 试听 150元/门 购买
综艺乐园 ------ 13课时 试听 100元/门 购买
边玩边学 ------ 10课时 试听 60元/门 购买
情景喜剧 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
欢乐课堂 ------ 35课时 试听 150元/门 购买
基础英语辅导课程
郭俊霞 北京语言大学毕业,专业英语八级,国内某知名中学英语教研组组长,教学标兵……详情>>
郭俊霞:零基础英语网上辅导名师

  1、凡本网注明 “来源:外语教育网”的所有作品,版权均属外语教育网所有,未经本网授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式使用;已经本网授权的,应在授权范围内使用,且必须注明“来源:外语教育网”。违反上述声明者,本网将追究其法律责任。
  2、本网部分资料为网上搜集转载,均尽力标明作者和出处。对于本网刊载作品涉及版权等问题的,请作者与本网站联系,本网站核实确认后会尽快予以处理。本网转载之作品,并不意味着认同该作品的观点或真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人转载使用,请与著作权人联系,并自负法律责任。
  3、联系方式
  编辑信箱:for68@chinaacc.com
  电话:010-82319999-2371