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      英語世界
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      Chinese Tribe Without Marriage Points to Future
      發布時間:2018年02月01日     卜杭賓 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      Chinese Tribe Without Marriage Points to Future

      無婚姻的部落預示未來世界


      By Nigel Barber

      文/奈吉爾·巴伯



      The Mosuo people[1] of southwest China do not marry and fathers do not live with, or support, children. Do the Mosuo anticipate a global future where no one marries?


      中國西南部的摩梭人男不娶、女不嫁,父親不和子女同住,也無撫養之責。摩梭人是否預兆了全世界人人不婚的未來?


      [1] the Mosuo people摩梭族在中國屬于未識別民族,所以中國的56個民族中沒有摩梭族。本文統譯作“摩梭人”。


      Whether the Mosuo have marriage depends upon what you mean by marriage. Their mating system is called “walking marriage[2]” where the man and woman do not live together even though they sleep together.


      摩梭人是否有婚姻,取決于你對婚姻的定義。摩梭人的配偶制度叫“走婚”,男女雙方夜晚同寢,白天各居自家。


      [2] walking marriage 走婚

       

      As soon as she is sexually mature[3], a young woman gets her own bedroom[4] and may invite a man to spend the night with her. If babies are produced from these informal unions, they are raised by the mother with the help of her siblings[5] and the father does not provide economic support.


      女子成年后有自己的花樓,可以邀請男子過夜。這些非正式結合生下的孩子由兄弟姊妹協助女方撫養,生父不提供經濟支持。


      [3] sexually mature 性成熟。

       

      [4] bedroom 花樓,即摩梭成年女性的房間。

       

      [5] sibling 兄弟或姐妹。


      So far, it might seem that this is no different from a women in a modern society having one night stands[6] and opting to[7] become pregnant as a result. Yet, walking marriages are not necessarily casual relationships[8]. In general, they seem to be long-standing arrangements that can even last for a lifetime.


      說到這里,這似乎與現代社會女子一夜情后自愿孕產別無二致。然而,走婚未必是隨意交往??傮w而言,走婚像是一種長期契約,甚至可以持續終生。


      [6] one night stand 一夜情。

       

      [7] opt to do 選擇做某事。

       

      [8] casual relationship (尤指性方面)關系隨意。


      Moreover, Mosuo women generally know the paternity[9] of the children and the father is ceremonially[10] welcomed by children on special occasions, such as Chinese New Year. So, however minimal[11] they are, walking marriages include one key feature of other marriages, namely the joining of a kin[12] network.


      此外,通常摩梭女子知道子女的生父是誰,子女在春節等特殊場合會按照禮節迎接生父。因此,不管走婚多么罕見,走婚至少包含了其他婚姻形式的一個主要特征,即維系家族血脈。


      [9] paternity 父親的身份

       

      [10] ceremonially 禮儀性地;儀式上。

       

      [11] minimal 極少的;極小的。


      [12] kin 親戚;家族。


      What is conspicuously[13] missing is the economic support that married fathers around the world are expected to provide for their children in return for the opportunity of fathering children of the marriage.


      結婚生子讓男人嘗到了為人父的滋味,全世界的已婚父親理應供養子女,而在走婚中來自父親的經濟支持明顯缺失。


      [13] conspicuously 顯著地。

       

      The avunculate[14]

      舅權

       

      [14] avunculate 舅權。


      How could such a seemingly unbalanced version of marriage come to exist? Anthropologists offer some clues because there are other societies where fathers invest little in[15] children of their marriage. Instead, they become attached to[16] children of their sisters – a phenomenon known as the avunculate.


      這種貌似失衡的婚姻形態是如何產生的呢?人類學家提供了一些線索,因為還有一些社群,父親對婚生子女幾乎不投入財力。相反,男子對姐妹的子女寵愛有加,這種現象叫舅權。


      [15] invest in 在......投入(時間、精力等)。

       

      [16] be attached to 對......有依賴;喜愛。


      The avunculate likely exists because a husband’s confidence of paternity of children of the marriage is low. Whether this is true of the Mosuo is unknown.


      舅權之所以存在,很可能是因為丈夫不大相信自己是孩子的生父。摩梭人的這種情況是否如此我們不得而知。


      Apart from low confidence of paternity, there is another good reason that men (and women) might choose to care for their nieces and nephews as though they were offspring. It might be a response to the difficult living conditions of the Himalayas. After all, such conditions in Tibet may be responsible for the very unusual marriage system of polyandry[17] where a pair of brothers shares a bride.


      除了不大相信自己是孩子的生父外,另一個充足的理由是男子(還有女子)可以選擇照顧外甥和外甥女,視他們如己出。這也許是為了應對喜馬拉雅山脈惡劣的居住條件。畢竟,可能是西藏這樣的條件導致了兄弟共妻的一妻多夫的獨特婚姻體制。


      [17] polyandry 一妻多夫制。


      Yet another possible reason for walking marriage is that Mosuo men used to be long-distance traders who were absent for long periods in trading caravans[18].


      走婚的另一個原因可能是過去摩梭男子常常長途跋涉,久居在外,趕馬經商。


      [18] caravans(穿過沙漠地帶的)旅行隊或商隊。此處特指摩梭人跟隨馬幫外出趕馬的習俗。


      What it means for the future

      這對未來意味著什么


      Modern marriage may be converging[19] on the Mosuo tradition in the sense that formal marriage may well be on the way out. The key data point here is the fact that in some developed countries, the majority of children are already born outside marriage in a fast-developing trend.


      正式婚姻很可能在走向沒落,從這一意義上說,現代婚姻也許在向摩梭人的傳統靠攏。一些發達國家的大部分孩子已屬非婚生子女,該趨勢發展迅速,這一事實是關鍵數據點。


      [19] converge 聚集;交匯。


      One of the key practical factors today is that mothers are financially much more independent than was true in the past thanks to near-universal[20] participation in the paid labor force. Another is that women have remarkably small families of just one or two that they may be able to raise independently particularly if they live in a modern welfare state with extensive government supports for children and aggressive[21] collection of maternity payments[22].


      幾乎所有的母親都從事有償勞動,因此在經濟上比過去更加獨立,這是當今一大重要的現實因素。另一大因素是婦女只有極少的一兩個孩子,尤其是如果她們生活在現代福利國家,政府會為育兒提供廣泛資助,母親可以領取可觀的產假工資,在這種情況下她們可以獨立撫養孩子。


      [20] near-universal 極為普遍的;幾乎所有的。

       

      [21] aggressive 積極進取的;有闖勁的。

       

      [22] maternity payment 產假工資。

       

      So the Mosuo may either be one of those strange historical holdovers[23] – a marginal group occupying a marginal ecology. Or they may offer a revealing[24] glimpse into the future in which formal marriage suddenly disappears.


      因此,摩梭人或許是奇特的歷史遺存之一——一種構成邊緣生態的邊緣群體。他們或許可以讓我們見微知著地窺見未來,那時候正式婚姻會突然消失。


      [23] holdovers 殘余;遺物。

       

      [24] revealing 發人深省的。


      (譯者曾獲第四屆“《英語世界》杯”翻譯大賽優秀獎。)

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