18.10.26【高翻带你学翻译】12 文化篇:老外眼中的《北京文化传承》My Beijing: The Sacred City

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今日主题:【高翻带你学翻译】12外刊精读文化篇:老外眼中的《北京文化传承》My Beijing: The Sacred City



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My Beijing: The Sacred City

By Ian Johnson 

May 1, 2017

New York Times

从八十年代来到北京的最初印象到如今翻看老照片,依然感受到老北京特有的城市味道:街道、高墙、寺院、园林、小巷,映衬出天上的星宿与地上的风水,皆是中国人信仰的尘俗体现。工业化建设对旧城区的损毁似乎失落了部分文化传承,但在城市的偏僻角落,早已不同于彼时的京味文化以意想不到的方式充满活力地焕然重生。

日坛公园,古时皇帝祭拜天地日月的四座神坛之一,作者见证了它的拆毁与年久失修的荒凉,经过修葺与改造,如今正展现出蓬勃的文化力量,焕发着现代生活方式的生机,造福着市民大众。一座公园成为了他了解中国百姓生活、价值观和传统美德的窗口。【高翻带你学翻译·文化篇】外刊精读 12 老外眼中的《北京文化传承》

When I first came to Beijing in the early 1980s, the city felt dusty overall--a one-time capital of temples and palaces was transformed into a landscape of factories and chimneys, and people rode simple steel bicycles or diesel-belching buses through the windy old streets. This was my initial impression of this capital city.

Leafing through old photo albums, I can still sense the taste unique to old Beijing. Its streets, walls, temples, gardens and alleys were part of a carefully woven tapestry that reflected the constellations above and geomantic forces below. It epitomized the political-religious system that ran traditional China for millennia. It was Chinese belief incarnate.

Sadly, its great city walls and many of its temples and distinctive alleys, or hutong, were destroyed to make way for aggressive industrialization. The 1980s brought economic reforms and unregulated real estate development, which wiped out almost all of the rest of the old town. Like many people who have fallen in love with this city, I was disheartened and felt Beijing’s culture was lost. But in recent years I have come to realize that Beijing’s culture is not dead; it is being reborn in odd corners of the city and in unexpected ways. It is not the same as the past, but vibrant still.

When I sauntered again in the park in the cool of the summer evening last Friday, I kept an eye out for the skyscrapers peeking through the weeping willows and stopped to read through colorful propaganda posters promoting filial piety. To laud traditional ways to run a family and the virtue of supporting one’s parents has become an imperative for a government whose decades of draconian family planning policies have left it with a rapidly greying population and a rebellious youth that ignores its parents. That is how the Temple of the Sun offers a window into people’s daily lives and plays an imperceptible role in reshaping Chinese people’s values and upholding traditional virtues. 


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