美国华人的历史Chinese Americans - 给力英语
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美国华人的历史Chinese Americans

发布:englishfan    时间:2008-10-02 21:54:02     浏览:2075次    [划词翻译已启用]

For many years it was common in the United States to associate Chinese Americans with restaurants and laundries. People did not realize that the Chinese had been driven into these occupations by the prejudice and discrimination that faced them in this country.

 

在美国,很多年以来,人们通常都把美籍华人与饭馆和洗衣店联系在一起。他们并没有认识到,美籍华人之所以从事这些职业,是在这个国家面临的偏见和歧视使然。

 

The first Chinese to reach the United States came during the California Gold Rush of 1849. Like most of the other people there, they had come to search for gold. In that largely unoccupied land, the men staked a claim for themselves by placing makers in the ground. However, either because the Chinese were so different from the others or because they worked so patiently that they sometimes succeeded in turning a seemingly worthless mining claim into a profitable one; they became the scapegoats of their envious competitors. They were harassed in many ways. Often they were prevented from working their claims; some localities even passed regulations forbidding them to own claims. The Chinese therefore started to seek out other ways of earning a living. Some of them began to do the laundry for the white miners; others set up small restaurants. (There were almost no women in California in those days, and the Chinese filled a real need by doing this "woman's work".) Some went to work as farmhands or as fishermen.

 

第一批到达美国的华人是在1849年加利福尼亚淘金热期间来到这里的。就像大多数到那里的人一样,他们是去挖掘金子的。在那一大片无人占领的土地上,人们通过在地面上做一些标记来声明自己对土地的所有权。然而,或是因为中国人与其他人太不一样,或是因为他们工作起来很有耐心,以致有时他们能成功地把表面看来毫无价值的开采资格变为有利可图的东西,这使他们成为爱嫉妒的竞争者们的替罪羊。他们受到了多种形式的骚扰。他们经常被阻止在他们的占领地上开矿;一些地区甚至通过了禁止他们拥有自己开采地的条例。因此,中国人开始艰难地寻找其它的谋生途径。他们中的一些人开始为开矿的白种人洗衣服;其他一些人则开设了小饭馆。(在那段岁月,在加利福尼亚几乎没有妇女,因而中国人所做的这些“妇女”的工作确实迎合了当时的需要。)还有一些人做起了农夫或是渔夫的工作。

 

In the early 1860's many more Chinese arrived in California. This time the men were imported as work crews to construct the first transcontinental railroad. They were sorely needed because the work was so strenuous and dangerous, and it was carried on in such a remote part of the country that the railroad company could not find other laborers for the job. As in the case of their predecessors, these Chinese were almost all males; and like them, too, they encountered a great deal of prejudice. The hostility grew especially strong after the railroad project was complete, and the imported laborers returned to California -- thousands of them, all out of work. Because there were so many more of them this time, these Chinese drew even more attention than the earlier group did. They were so very different in every respect: in their physical appearance, including a long "pigtail" at the back of their otherwise shaved heads; in the strange, non-Western clothes they wore; in their speech (few had learned English since they planned to go back to China); and in their religion. They were contemptuously called "heathen Chinese" because there were many sacred images in their houses of worship.

 

19世纪60年代初,更多的中国人来到加利福尼亚。这一次他们是作为建造第一条横贯大陆的铁道的劳工而进口来的。由于这项工作艰辛而危险,并且是在这个国家如此偏远的地区进行,以至于铁路公司找不到修建铁路的其他劳力,因而非常需要这批人。就像他们的祖先一样(即到此地的第一批人),这些中国人几乎全是男性;而且还有一点非常相似,他们也遇到了一系列的偏见问题。这种敌意在修路工程完成后变得尤其强烈,这些成千上万回到加利福尼亚的劳工全部失业了。这次的劳工比第一批人数更多,因而吸引了更多的注意力。他们在每一个方面都与其他民族不同:他们的外表,包括在他们刮光了前半部的脑袋后面的一根长长的辫子;他们穿的迥然不同于西方人的衣服;他们的语言(因为原本打算完工后回国,所以很少有人学习英语);还有他们的信仰。他们被蔑称为“异教徒”,因为在他们的礼拜堂里有许多他们崇拜的神像。

 

When times were hard, they were blamed for working for lower wages and taking jobs away from white men, who were in many cases recent immigrants themselves. Anti-Chinese riots broke out in several cities, culminating in arson and bloodshed. Chinese were barred from using the courts and also from becoming American citizens. California began to demand that no more Chinese be permitted to enter their state. Finally, in 1882, they persuaded Congress to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act, which stopped the immigration of Chinese laborers. Many Chinese returned to their homeland, and their numbers declined sharply in the early part of this century. However, during the War II, when China was an ally of the United States, the Exclusion laws were ended; a small number of Chinese were allowed to immigrate each year, and Chinese could become American citizens. In 1965, in a general revision of our immigration laws, many more Chinese were permitted to settle here, as discrimination against Asian immigration was abolished.

 

当日子过得很艰难时,他们会因为以较低的工资从白人手中夺走了工作而受到责骂,而那些白人自己也是新移民。在好几座城市发生了反对中国人的骚乱,甚至出现了纵火和流血事件。中国人被禁止利用法庭,也不能成为美国公民。加利福尼亚人开始要求不再允许中国人进入他们的州。最后在1882年,他们说服国会通过了“排华法案”,禁止输人中国劳工。许多中国人回了国,他们的人数在本世纪初期迅速减少。但在第二次世界大战期间,中国是美国的盟国,这个排华法便告终止了;每年允许一小部分中国人移民美国,有些人也能人籍成为美国公民。1965年,在一次移民法的全面修订中,更多的中国人被允许在美国定居,因为对亚洲移民的歧视已被废除了。

 

From the start, the Chinese had lived apart in their own separate neighborhoods, which came to be known as "Chinatowns". In each of them the residents organized an unofficial government to make rules for the community and to settle disputes. Unable to find jobs on the outside, many went into business for themselves -- primarily to serve their own neighborhood. As for laundries and restaurants, some of them soon spread to other parts of the city, since such services continued to be in demand among non-Chinese, too. To this day, certain Chinatowns, especially those of San Francisco and New York, are busy, thriving communities, which have become great attractions for tourists and for those who enjoy Chinese food.

 

中国人从一开始就生活在与别人分离的地区,这些地区后来被称作“唐人街”,每个城市的唐人街的居民组成民间“政府”,自主制定法规并解决争端。许多人由于在外面找不到工作而开始为他们自己服务--主要是为他们周围的人服务。至于洗衣店和餐馆,它们中的一部分已迅速地向城市的其他部分发展,因为这种服务在无中国人的地区还是很需要的。直到今天,有相当多的庸人街,尤其是旧金山和纽约的庸人街已成为繁忙兴旺的地区,这些地区对喜欢中国食物的人和游客来说有着巨大的吸引力。

 

Most of today's Chinese Americans are the descendants of some of the early miners and railroad workers. Those immigrants had come from the vicinity of Canton in Southeast China, where they had been uneducated farm laborers. The same kind of young men, from the same area and from similar humble origins, migrated to Hawaii in those days. There they fared far better, mainly because they did not encounter hostility. Some married native Hawaiians, and other brought their wives and children over. They were not restricted to Chinatown and many of them soon became successful merchants and active participants in general community affairs.

 

现在的美籍华人大多数都是一些早期矿工和铁路工人的后裔。那些人本来是中国东南部的广东附近未受过教育的农民。当时,该地区同样卑微出身的年轻人移居到了夏威夷。在那儿他们的日子好过多了,主要是因为他们没有遭遇到敌视。他们中的一些人与夏威夷当地人结婚;而另一些人则把妻子和孩子带了去。他们没有被限制在唐人街地区,许多人很快地成为成功的商人和公众事务的积极参与者。

 

Chinese Americans retain many aspects of their ancient culture, even after having lived here for several generations. For Example, their family ties continue to be remarkably strong (encompassing grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and others). Members of the family lend each other moral support and also practical help when necessary. From a very young age children are imbued with the old values and attitudes, including respect for their elders and a feeling of responsibility to the family. This helps to explain why there is so little juvenile delinquency among them.

 

美籍华人保留了他们古老文化的许多方面,甚至在美国生活了几代人之后也是如此。例如,他们的家庭关系还是异常的紧密(围绕着祖父母、叔伯、姑姨、堂兄妹,还有其他人)。家族中的成员相互给予精神鼓励和必要时的实际帮助,连非常小的孩子们都对旧道德充满了崇敬,包括尊敬长辈和对家庭的责任感。这也就解释了为什么在他们当中很少有少年犯罪的发生。

 

The high regard for education which is deeply imbedded in Chinese culture, and the willingness to work very hard to gain advancement, are other noteworthy characteristics of theirs. This explains why so many descendants of uneducated laborers have succeeded in becoming doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. (Many of the most outstanding Chinese American scholars, scientists, and artists are more recent arrivals, who come from China's former upper class and who represent its high cultural traditions.)

 

深植于中国文化里对教育的高度重视,以及努力工作以得到发展的心愿,是他们具有的其他显著特征。这也就说明了为什么有这么多未受过教育的体力劳动者的后代成功地成为医生、律师及其他的专业人士。(许多最杰出的美籍华人学者、科学家和艺术家多是最近的新移民,他们来自中国昔日的上层社会,并代表了中国的高等文化传统。)

 

Chinese Americans make up only a tiny fraction of our population; there are fewer than half a million, living chiefly in California, New York, and Hawaii. As American attitudes toward minorities and toward ethnic differences have changed in recent years, the long-reviled Chinese have gained wide acceptance. Today, they are generally admired for their many remarkable characteristics, and are often held up as an example worth following. And their numerous contributions to their adopted land are much appreciated.

 

美籍华人仅组成了我们人口的一小部分,大约不到50万,主要居住在加利福尼亚、纽约和夏威夷。因近年来美国人对少数民族和对种族、宗教上的文化差异的态度有所改变,长期被谩骂的中国人已得到广泛的承认。今天,他们因有着许多优秀的品质而受到普遍的赞赏,并且经常被树立为值得学习的榜样。我们非常感激他们对接纳他们的这个国家所做出的难以计数的贡献。


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