An American Experience with Chinese New Year 一位美国人的中国新年经验

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       Growing up in a smalltown in a small state in the north-east corner ofAmerica,I never thought much aboutChina.We didn’t have any Chinese food in my town, none in the next town either, or theone after that. Actually, you had to drive for 30 minutes before you came to aChinese restaurant. It was owned by a Chinese family but they served ‘Americanstyle Chinese food’. It would be another 10 years before I realized people inChinadidn’teat fried egg rolls (by the way you’re really missing out - they are amazing)!Thinking about my past and how much I really didn’t know about Chinese cultureand cuisine, it makes me laugh now to think I can’t go three days withoutChinese food. 

       从小,我在美国东北部的一个小镇里长大,从来没想过或在乎过关于中国的什么。我们的小镇里没有任何中餐馆,包括周边的小镇里也没有。我记得,如果想吃中餐,我们得开车30分钟才有一家中国餐馆。那家餐馆是家庭式的,卖的中餐是大家所说的“美式中国菜”。另外,直到10年后的今天,我才意识到真正的中国人并不吃煎鸡蛋卷(我想顺便说一句,你们真的错过了 — 那玩意儿很好吃)!看看现在,三天不吃中餐就过不下去的我,让我不得不嘲笑自己过去对中国文化和美食的无知。

 

       Chinese New Year tome is a little bit of two American celebrations wrapped into one very longholiday:

       中国农历新年对我来说就好像是美国的两个节日连在一起组成的一个长假:


       Thanksgiving- a holiday on the last Thursday of Novemberthat originally celebrated the neighborly friendship between the Native Americans and the first Europeansettlers.Today, it’s the day where all family comes together for a very big meal thatusually hasTurkey

       感恩节 — 在11月的最后一个星期四。感恩节原本庆祝的是土著美国人和欧洲第一个定居者之间的和睦相处。如今,感恩节就是全家团圆是一天,大家聚在一起美餐一顿,通常会吃火鸡。


 


       And theother celebration? The 4th of July- America’s independence fromBritain.During this time we have parades, fireworks, more food and drink and a lot offun.

       另外一个节日嘛,74日 — 美国独立日。为了庆祝美国独立日,我们通常有游行、烟花、各种美食和饮品,特别开心。




        Let’s fast forwardthis story to Chinese New Year of 2015. I arrived in Zhengzhou,Chinaand immediately saw decorations everywhere. Seems that everyone inChinawas on aplane or train - everything was so packed. 

       说说我2015年在中国过年的经历吧。我抵达中国郑州国际机场,马上能感受到浓厚的新年气氛,所有人都在赶车(无论是飞机还是火车)— 到处都是人山人海的很拥挤! 

       I remember noticingon every street corner there was a shop selling fireworks. This would becompletely illegal inAmerica.Too many safety laws here. At one point my business partner took me to one ofthese stands. I couldn’t understand what he was talking about with the shopowner, but it seems they were negotiating a little. At the end of a fewminutes, he took a small firework and casually used the tip of his cigaretteand lit the firework as he slowly placed it on the sidewalk. Did he then runaway? Cover his head or ears? No. He fixed his sunglasses and slowly took along drag of his cigarette while the firework launched and exploded well overour heads with a loud bang. I flinched and said a swear word - he smiled andexhaled some white smoke. To this day, one of the coolest things I have everseen inChina.

       我还记得大街上的每一个街角都有卖烟花的。这在美国完全是非法的,因为这里有太多的安全法规。有一次,我的伙伴带我去了一家卖烟花的摊位。我不明白他跟店主说了什么,但他们好像在谈判什么。几分钟后,他拿着一个雷炮,漫不经心的走到人行道上,用他的香烟点燃了那雷炮。我心想,还不赶快跑开?掩盖自己的头或耳朵?可是,他却站在那,带上墨镜,慢慢抽了一口手里的香烟,看着那雷炮飞出然后在我们的头顶上炸开,紧接着就是一声巨响。我吓得边骂脏话边往后退缩,他却一边嘲笑我一边吐着烟气。直到这一天,这也许是我在中国经历过最酷的一件事儿啦。

       I accompanied him toa few events where family got together and talked, always offering me fruit ornuts or tea, the extended family was so nice. The giving nature of Chinesepeople amongst family is so wonderful. I think often of how kind so manyChinese people have been to me, and how this is different than the experience Ihad as a young man in America trying to fight on my own at every step. 

       我跟随着他走亲访友,大家总为我提供水果,坚果或茶,每个人都很友好。我很快的意识到中国家庭成员之间那种本质性的给予和付出是多么的美妙。我时常会想想自己在中国被接待的一些经验和我在美国什么都要自己打拼是多么的不同。

       Later that week, inthe evening I was brought to a big open square in a new development zone in Zhengzhou, surrounded bynewly built 30-40 story buildings. I watched as families lit fireworks rightnext to each other. Some street vendors were there selling warm food as kidsran around with little fireworks in their hands and smiles on their faces. Imust stress to you how different this is than inAmerica, where it is almostimpossible to purchase fireworks unless in a few states. If any of you arethinking about the irony - that we can buy a gun, but not fireworks - trust meI understand the strange dynamic. 

       那周后期的一个晚上,我们来到郑州新东区的一个特大露天广场,那广场周围被三四十层的新楼包围着。我看着一家家人聚在一起放烟花,一些摊贩在那里卖热乎乎的小吃,孩子们手里拿着小烟花跑来跑去,个个都挂着灿烂的笑容。我不得不强调这样的场景跟美国有多么的不同,在美国,除非在极少数的几个州,那几乎是找不到烟花的。如果你们想都讽刺我们 — 在美国可以买枪,但没有烟花 — 我还真不得不承认这有多么荒唐! 

 

       The food duringChinese new year is the best part. Dumplings. Somany dumplings, just thinking about it is making me droolon my keyboard. I think there is something special about food in a culture thatis global. A warm meal, some funny conversation, children running around, yourmom telling you to keep eating, your sister telling you to lose weight becauseyou ate too much. I see the similarity inAmerica,in Europe and inChina

       过年吃美食是中国新年最好的一部分。饺子,好多好多饺子,只是想想我觉得口水已经流到我的键盘上了。全家一起吃饭时,你还是能体验出有些东西是全球性的。饭桌上,热腾腾的饭菜,大家有说有笑,孩子们跑来跑去,你妈妈叫你继续吃多吃点,你的姐妹们说你该减肥了少吃点等。我觉得这跟在美国,在欧洲或是中国都差不多。

       In fact, this is themain thing I see with Chinese New Year - it’s a celebration of families andfun. It’s food and argument. It’s a little bit of money and a little bit ofalcohol. It’s something to look forward to! Many festivals in theUnited Statesare celebrated in a similar way! 

       事实上,这就是我眼里的中国新年 — 这是一个庆祝家庭团聚的节日。就是吃吃喝喝,吵吵闹闹,喝喝酒,发发钱,是一个令人期待的节日!美国的一些节日也是这样庆祝的!

       Our countries and some culture are quite similar and the more time I spend around brilliant talented Chinese men and women - the more I realize that when I go to China I am not a foreigner, I am home. 

       我们的国家和一些文化其实是非常相似的,和中国的朋友们接触的越多,我越觉得每次去中国不觉得自己是老外”,不是一个外国游客,我只有一种感觉,这也是我的家,我回家了



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