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散文欣赏:迷失在”彩虹国度”的人

2019年11月19日 英语美文 暂无评论
摘要:

My parents come from South Africa, and we often used to go back on family visits. One Christmas about 30 years ago we left Johannesburg on a bus trip to a safari park. All the other people in the bus

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My parents come from South Africa, and we often used to go back on family visits. One Christmas about 30 years ago we left Johannesburg on a bus trip to a safari park. All the other people in the bus were Afrikaners: big healthy white families in shorts. With their handful of surnames, and heavy Dutch faces utterly distinct from their African surroundings, they were a tribe. Their forefathers had been the mostly Dutch-speaking Protestants who had come to South Africa over the centuries. We lived in the Netherlands, so we spoke Dutch to the Afrikaners, and they spoke Afrikaans back.
我父母来自南非,以前,我们常常回南非去看望那里的亲人。大约30年前的那个圣诞节,我们乘大巴从约翰内斯堡出发去一个野生动物园。大巴上其他所有乘客都是阿非利卡人(Afrikaner):这些人都是大块头的白种人,穿着短裤,看上去很健康。他们中有一些人同姓,都有典型的荷兰人长相,在周遭非洲的环境中十分显眼,看上去应该属于同一个种族。这些人的先辈大多是讲荷兰语的新教徒,几百年前漂洋过海来到南非。我们曾经生活在荷兰,所以要跟这些阿非利卡人说荷兰语,他们则跟我们说阿非利卡语(Afrikaans,在南非使用的荷兰语)。
In those days of apartheid, Afrikaners were rulers of South Africa and pariahs everywhere else. Today the three million Afrikaners are mostly forgotten. In 1994 they handed power to Nelson Mandela and instantly became irrelevant. Fred de Vries, a Dutch writer living in Johannesburg, wondered what had become of them. His answer - a wonderful book of deep reportage - is about to appear as Afrikaners in Dutch, and Rigtingbedonnerd (Directionless, roughly) in Afrikaans.
在种族隔离时期,阿非利卡人虽然在南非扮演着统治者角色,但在南非之外的地方却是遭人唾弃。如今,这300万阿非利卡人几乎已被遗忘。1994年,阿非利卡人将权力移交给纳尔逊曼德拉(Nelson Mandela),然后马上就变得无足轻重了。旅居约翰内斯堡的荷兰作家弗雷德德弗里斯(Fred de Vries)对这些人后来的经历产生了好奇。他通过一本优秀的纪实类图书给出了答案。这本书即将上市,荷兰语版的书名为《阿非利卡人》(Afrikaners),阿非利卡语版的书名为《迷失》(阿非利卡语原文为Rigtingbedonnerd,意为失去方向)。
Under apartheid, there was only one accepted way to be an Afrikaner. You belonged to the Dutch Reformed church, you liked rugby, and you voted for apartheid. Renegades were treated as traitors to the tribe. Suddenly, in 1994, everything dissolved. The once so united Afrikaner people are like a box of night moths after the lid is lifted, writes de Vries. They blink their eyes against the bright sun, and flit confusedly in different directions.
在种族隔离制下,身为阿非利卡人,只有一种行为方式是被认可的。你必须加入荷兰归正会(Dutch Reformed church),喜欢橄榄球,投票支持种族隔离制。不遵守这种行为方式的人在当时被视为阿非利卡人中的叛徒。而在1994年,这一切瞬间土崩瓦解。这些一度如此团结的阿非利卡人好像一群关在盒子里的夜蛾,当盒盖被揭开,德弗里斯写道,这些夜蛾被强烈的阳光晃了眼,晕乎乎地四处飞散。
Many of the moths flitted away from South Africa. Crime had reached Afrikaner suburbs and farms (Shoot the Boer! sang the populist politician Julius Malema), government jobs were going to blacks, affirmative action was ousting whites from the private sector, and many Afrikaners simply felt irrelevant in the new nation.
许多夜蛾飞离了南非。针对阿非利卡人社区和农场的犯罪活动开始滋长(信奉民粹主义的政客尤利乌斯马勒马(Julius Malema)曾高喊:干掉布尔人!(Shoot the Boer!布尔人指荷兰裔南非人)),政府开始让黑人担任公务员,将白人挤出私人领域的行动正在积极进行中,许多阿非利卡人都明显感到,在这个新的国度,他们无足轻重。
So they made another Great Trek.
于是,他们开始了又一次大迁徙(Great Trek)。
Some Afrikaner farmers resettled in Mozambique, or even Ukraine.
一些阿非利卡农场主在莫桑比克、甚至在乌克兰安了家。
In Perth in Australia, de Vries found whole extended families of Afrikaners, served by Dutch Reformed churches preaching in Afrikaans. I cried so much that the sea-level must have risen, one exiled woman told him. But Afrikaners adapt well.
在澳大利亚珀斯,德弗里斯找到了一些庞大的阿非利卡家庭,在当地,有讲阿非利卡语的荷兰归正会为他们服务。一名被放逐的阿非利卡女子告诉德弗里斯:我常常哭,那些眼泪如果汇入大海,一定会让海平面上升。不过,阿非利卡人在新环境里适应得不错。
It was largely the better-educated who emigrated. Meanwhile, many Afrikaners who stayed in South Africa have sunk into an African poverty. Perhaps a fifth of them now have family incomes below EU300 a month. De Vries found Afrikaners begging at traffic lights, and living as vagabonds in squatter camps. (In true South African tradition, white and black squatter camps are largely segregated.) These are the arm wittes, the poor whites, the problem apartheid was meant to solve. When the Afrikaners took over government in 1948, the aim was to raise the weaker members of the tribe above their black neighbours. Struggling Afrikaners were given government jobs as postmen or receptionists. They earned enough for a small house and a black maid. Now many of these people have plummeted from first to third world.
移居海外的阿非利卡人,大多是受教育程度较高的。与此同时,留在南非的许多阿非利卡人则陷入了贫困。如今,留在南非的阿非利卡人中,或许有五分之一的家庭,月收入不到300欧元。在南非,德弗里斯见到了在交通灯前乞讨的阿非利卡人,无家可归、住在棚户区的阿非利卡人。(通常来说,南非的黑人棚户区和白人棚户区基本上是分开的。)这些人是白种人里的穷人,他们的问题正是种族隔离制最初想要解决的。1948年,阿非利卡人接管政府时,定下的目标就是要让较为贫穷的阿非利卡人过得比他们的黑人邻居更好。政府为生活困难的阿非利卡人提供了邮差、接待员等公务员职位。这些职位的工资可以让他们负担起一幢小房子,并雇用一名黑人女佣。如今,这些阿非利卡人中,生活水平从第一世界一下子跌至第三世界的不在少数。
However, most Afrikaners still in South Africa are flourishing. Excellent schooling for whites during apartheid set them up nicely. Many Afrikaners run businesses, and get on well with government. They have largely abandoned their villages for suburbs, and have built high fences, but otherwise the end of apartheid hasnt overly inconvenienced them. Economically, most Afrikaners are better off than before 1994, writes de Vries.
然而,留在南非的阿非利卡人大多仍过得不错。种族隔离时期白人所享受到的一流教育为他们今后的生活奠定了良好的基础。许多阿非利卡人经商,与政府关系很好。他们大多放弃了乡村的住所,搬到市郊,还在住所周围建起了高高的栅栏,但除此之外,种族隔离制的终结并没有给他们带来太多的不便。德弗里斯写道:大多数阿非利卡人的经济状况都比1994年之前更好了。
What he doesnt seem to have found is many Afrikaners merging into South Africas Rainbow Nation. Few young members of the tribe have shacked up with other colours. Afrikaners still remain distinct even from the majority of Afrikaans-speakers who are not white. According to de Vries, few Afrikaners believe in the Rainbow Nation. But South Africas rulers probably barely care what these marginal people believe. Im just a tourist / In my country of birth, sing the alternative Afrikaner band Fokofpolisiekar.
德弗里斯似乎未能见到的一种景象是:许多阿非利卡人正在融入南非的彩虹国度。年轻一代的阿非利卡人中,很少有人与其他肤色的人住在一起。阿非利卡人仍然与其他族群保持着距离,这其中甚至包括大部分说阿非利卡语的非白种人。在德弗里斯看来,大多数阿非利卡人认为,并没有彩虹国度这回事。但南非的统治者或许并不怎么在意这个边缘民族的看法。阿非利卡人的另类乐队滚蛋警车(Fokofpolisiekar)在一首歌中唱到:我只是个游客/游走在我出生的国度。
Even thriving Afrikaners feel an overwhelming sense of loss, writes de Vries. The Afrikaner rural idyll with its village square and little church has gone forever. Although the feared apocalypse by vengeful blacks never came, the tribes institutions are dissolving. The National Party is gone.
德弗里斯写道,就连那些过得不错的阿非利卡人也深切地感受到了一种失落感。阿非利卡人的田园生活,村广场和小教堂,全都一去不复返了。尽管人们担心的黑人的复仇活动始终没有到来,但阿非利卡人的固有生活方式正在土崩瓦解。南非国民党(National Party)已不复存在。
The Dutch Reformed church is giving way to American-style evangelical churches.
荷兰归正会正在被美式的福音会所取代。
Many Afrikaners are struggling to find a new identity untarnished by apartheid.
许多阿非利卡人正在努力寻找一个洗脱了种族隔离制污点的新身份。
Most fundamentally, their language is probably dying. Scarcely used in administration, Afrikaans just isnt much use anymore. Even at Stellenbosch University, the Afrikaner Oxford, only about 10 per cent of lectures are now in Afrikaans. Writers are an esteemed Afrikaner caste, yet Afrikaans authors (including the half-Afrikaner J.M. Coetzee) increasingly publish in English.
最重要的是,阿非利卡语或许正在消亡。作为一门官方很少使用的语言,阿非利卡语事实上已经用处不大了。甚至在斯坦陵布什大学(Stellenbosch University,阿非利卡人的牛津大学(Oxford)),如今也只有大约10%的课程使用阿非利卡语授课。阿非利卡语作家是一个备受尊重的群体,但他们(包括有着一半阿非利卡血统的JM库切(J.M. Coetzee))开始越来越多地用英语发表作品。
Thats where the debate is, explains writer Antjie Krog. Afrikaans, which became an official language distinct from Dutch only in 1925, may not survive another 87 years. Afrikaners can flourish as individuals in South Africa, but perhaps not as a tribe. They may eventually dissolve into white English-speaking South Africa, or into the white world.
作家安特杰克罗(Antjie Krog)解释说:这就是争论所在。阿非利卡语(不同于荷兰语)1925年成为南非的官方语言之一,而今,这门语言可能活不过下一个87年。作为个体,阿非利卡人或许能在南非生活得不错,但整个民族的情况或许不那么妙。他们或许最终会消融在说英语的南非白人族群中,或是消融在白人世界里。
The half-Afrikaner writer Rian Malan (who inevitably writes in English) prophesies that one day Afrikaners will be remembered as that mythical race that once lived here. Those families on the bus 30 years ago couldnt have imagined that.
有一半阿非利卡血统的作家里安马兰(Rian Malan,这位作家只能用英语写作)预言,有朝一日,阿非利卡人将成为人们记忆中那个曾经生活在这里的神秘民族。30年前我们在大巴上遇到的那些阿非利卡人,一定没有想过这种情形。 verywen.com

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