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王永利:双语散文《让中国的情人节走向世界》
王永利
08月28日 16:11
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农历7月初七,传说是牛郎织女鹊桥相会的日子,这个美丽浪漫的爱情故事,流传了上千年。随着洋节“情人节”在中国的广泛接受,有不少学者和专家呼吁,把农历7月7日定为中国的“情人节”。虽然这一呼吁并未得到官方认可,但是,在民间,特别是年轻人中,已经把它看作是隆重的节日。这一新兴的节日氛围,得到商家的推波助澜,玫瑰花、卡片纷纷“粉墨登场”,使节日颇为“半官方化”。即使官方想扼杀,也扼杀不了了,默认已经成为不争的事实。

其实,呼吁中国的“情人节”,是呼吁中国的传统文化,是呼吁牛郎织女那种坚贞爱情观的回归,对于构建和谐社会,是一种有积极意义的事情。

不被官方认可的原因是存在一个误区:在中国传统文化和当今道德观中,主流社会是不接受“情人”这个概念的。不知道是翻译的问题,还是中国文字的差别所致,如果当初把此节日翻译为“爱人节”,也许就不会被大多数中国人的意识形态所排斥。在中国人的眼里,“情人”似乎就是婚外恋。其实,英文字的原义和中国人所理解的婚外恋有天壤之别。

仅举其由来的版本之一:Valentine's day是情人节在英语里的叫法。字根是古罗马文,是一个人的名字。这里面隐藏着一个动人的故事。

大约在公元三世纪的罗马,那时恺撒已经死去快三百年了,暴君Claudius当政。当时,罗马内外战争频仍,民不聊生。为了补足兵员,将战争进行到底,Claudius下令,凡是一定年龄范围内的男子,都必须进入罗马军队,以生命为国家效劳。自此,丈夫离开妻子,少年离开恋人。于是整个罗马便被笼罩在绵长的相思中。对此,暴君大为恼火。为了达到自己的目的,他竟然下令禁止国人举行结婚典礼,甚至要求已经结婚的毁掉婚约。

然而,暴政禁止不了爱情。就在暴君的国都里,居住着一位德高望重的修士,他就是Valentine修士。他不忍看到一对对伴侣就这样生离死别,于是为前来请求帮助的情侣秘密地主持上帝的结婚典礼。一时间,这一令人振奋的消息在整个国度传开,更多的情侣秘密地赶来请求修士的帮助。

但是,事情很快还是被暴君知晓了,于是他再一次显示了残暴面目——将修士打进大牢,最终折磨致死。修士死的那一天是2月14日,公元270年的2月14日。

人们为了纪念这个敢于与暴君斗争的人,渐渐地使得2月14日成为一个节日。很多世纪过去了,人们再也记不得Claudius的大名,再也记不得他的权杖与宝剑,但依然会纪念Valentine修士,因为那个日子是Valentine's day,是情人节。

而中国的牛郎织女的爱情故事,也丝毫与“婚外恋”风马牛不相及。这个流传上千年的传说更加浪漫,富有中国传统的浪漫主义色彩,表达着农耕时代中国人丰富的想象力和坚贞的爱情观。美丽动人的故事,让外国人都感到惊奇,并深深为其坚贞的爱情所感动。我在英国留学时,把这个故事讲给金发碧眼的同班同学和当地邻居听,他们无不被打动。连连称赞应当纪念这个中国人的美丽爱情传说。可见,人类对美好的事情,感觉是相通的。

既然翻译成“情人节”已经约定俗成,既然与“婚外恋”不相干,那么,让中国的“情人节”走向世界则有着深远意义,第一,可以传播中国的优秀传统文化,提升中国文化在世界范围的地位。第二,可以弘扬坚贞的爱情观,促进家庭和社会和谐。当然,要走向世界,还需要所有中国人的助推。只要大家都在心理认可这个节日,并纪念这个节日,中国的“情人节”就有了深厚的根基,就一定能走向世界。

Let Chinese Valentine’s Day Go To the World

By Wang Yongli

The seventh day of the seventh lunar month is the day that the cowherd and weaving maid meet on the magpie bridge. According to legend, the once-happy couple, became stars separated by the Milky Way, and could meet only once a year when magpies flew together to form a bridge over the galaxy. This beautiful and romantic love story was passed down for thousands of years. But in recent years, "Chinese Valentine's Day" has been widely accepted by Chinese people and has become a young people’s festival. Many scholars and experts have called for the lunar event to be officially established as “Chinese Valentine's day". Although this appeal has not been officially recognized, among the people in big cities, young people especially have viewed it as a grand festival. This new atmosphere of the festival is adding fuel to the flames of merchants. As a result, thanks to the roses and cards in succession, on "stage", the festival becomes “half official". Even if the authorities want to deny it, it is impossible to stop “Chinese's Valentine's day". By default it has become an indisputable fact.

In fact, advocating “Chinese Valentine's Day", is calling for Chinese traditional culture and calling for a return to a steadfast view of love just like how the cowherd and the weaving maid loved each other so deeply. It is of a positive significance for the building of a harmonious society.

Why is “Chinese Valentine's Day not accepted by the authorities? I think that there might be a misunderstanding. In Chinese traditional culture and moral values, especially in the mainstream society, the concept of a "lover" is not accepted. I don't know how the name of “Valentine's Day” is translated into Chinese as “Lovers Day”, but “Lover” in Chinese phrasing has a different meaning. If the phrase had not been translated as "Lovers’ Day", the majority of Chinese ideologists would not reject it. In the eyes of Chinese people, “lover" seems equal to an extramarital affair, and is the "second breast". In fact, the word “lover” in the original English meaning is quite different from what Chinese understand as "second breast".

There is only one version of its origin: Lover's Day is Valentine's Day in English. The root is from ancient Rome and Valentine (Valentinus) is the man’s name. A moving story is hidden inside the phrase.

Around the Third Century AD in Rome, Caesar died. Nearly three hundred years later, the tyrant Claudius was in power. At that time, inside and outside Rome wars were happening with increasing frequency and the people were destitute. To complement the troops and put the war to an end, Claudius ordered that a certain age range of man should be enrolled into the army, and should serve the country. From then on, many husbands left their wives, and young men left their young lovers. Thus the whole of Rome was shrouded, lingering in the acacia. In this regard, the tyrant became enraged. In order to achieve his goal, he ordered a ban that all the people of the country were not allowed to have the wedding ceremony, he even asked the engaged lovers to destroy the marriage agreement.

However, the tyrant could not ban love. Under his tyranny, in the countryside, there lived a noble character, a high prestige monk. He was Valentine. He could not bear to see the pairs of lovers were parted in life and separated by death. Therefore his help was requested by couples to secretly preside over the wedding in front of the god statue. For a time, this exciting news spread throughout the country and more couples rushed in secret to request his help.

However, the tyrant became quickly aware of these things, and once again showed his brutal nature. He put the monk into prison and eventually tortured him to death. The monk Valentine died on the day 14 February AD 270.

People commemorated the courageous monk who dared struggle with the tyrant, so gradually set 14 February as a holiday. Many centuries later, people forgot Claudius, and cannot remember his scepter and sword, but people still commemorate the monk Valentine, because that day is Valentine's Day, and it is also called Lover's Day.  

However, the love story of China's cowherd and weaver, did not have any relevance or relationship whatsoever with extramarital affairs, or "second breast". The legend had spread for thousands of years and is more romantic, full of Chinese traditional romanticism. It expresses agrarian times with rich imagination and a faithful love view. The beautiful and moving story has left foreigners surprised and deeply touched. When I was studying in the UK, I told the story to my blonde classmates and local neighbors. All of them were moved. They again and again praised the beautiful Chinese love legend. So it is visible, as human beings, all of us seem to seek the same good things, where our feelings are interlinked.

Since "Valentine's Day" has been imported into China, since it has nothing to do with extramarital affair and the "second breast", we should let “Chinese Valentine's Day", with it’s profound meaning go to the world. It can spread excellent traditional Chinese culture, and promote and lift its position. It can promote faithful love, and promote family and social harmony. Of course, letting “Chinese Valentine's Day" go to the world requires all Chinese people to boost and push it forward. As long as everyone accepts this festival, and marks the festival, “Chinese Valentine's Day" will grow deep roots, and certainly will move toward the world.

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