彭蒙惠英语:20110205 MP3在线课程 Sometimes It's Not the Thought That Counts

时间 : 2013-12-05 07:30来源 : VOA官网 收听下载次数 :
下载音频

Help can be found!

One person who goes by the screen name "Mrs. LA" offered a long list of possibilities on ChineseInLA.com: cordless phones, Philips electric razors, Zippo lighters, blood-pressure monitors─all made in America, of course.

Mrs. LA also suggested "Greetings from America" stamps of each state, collections of state quarters and $2 bills showing the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

"The most frustrating thing for me was figuring out what to give to people. It nearly ruined my trip," wrote Mrs. LA.

Changing times

While frequent travelers are at least familiar now with the parameters of what to give and what not to give, others had to learn the hard way.

"The village people now have money in their pockets. Many of them have only one child and they can't wait to spoil them," said Bao, who recalls the awkward looks after he gave people dresses that had been his daughter's. "My brother took me aside and told me people don't need this stuff anymore. If you can't afford something nice, maybe you should just not bring anything at all."

Embarrassed, Bao, a veteran reporter for Chinese-language newspapers, started handing out $100 bills to the children of his immediate family members.

The global village effect

Yunxiang Yan is an anthropology professor from UCLA who has written extensively about gift giving in Chinese culture. But knowing what to bring has gotten so overwhelming even for him, he now chooses not to give any gifts.

"One reason I don't give gifts is because I go back so frequently, a couple of times a year," said Yan. "We are living in a shrinking global village with increased communication and traveling. Now going to China is like visiting a next-door neighbor who lives a similar lifestyle. So there is no more need."

 

求助有门!

一位网路名称为「洛杉矶夫人」的人士在ChineseInLA.com网站上提供一长串礼物清单:包括无线电话、飞利浦电胡刀、Zippo打火机、血压计等──当然都是美国制的。

洛杉矶夫人还建议各州的「来自美国的祝福」邮票,成套的各州二角五分纪念币,与印有独立宣言签署图的两元美钞。

「最令我沮丧的事情是要想出送什么礼, 那差点毁了我的旅行。」洛杉矶夫人写道。

时代改变了

频繁往返者现在至少知道什么可以送、什么不宜送的界限,其他人就得吃些苦头才能学到。

「村民现在口袋里有钱了, 许多人只有一个小孩,宠都来不及了。」鲍乔治说。他想起当他把女儿穿过的衣裳送人时,别人那种难堪的眼光。「我兄弟把我带到一旁,告诉我人们已不需要这种东西了。如果你买不起好东西,也许根本就不要带东西来算了。」

尴尬之余,身为华文报资深记者的鲍乔治于是发送百元美钞给近亲的小孩。

地球村效应

阎云翔(音译)是加州大学洛杉矶分校的人类学教授,曾针对中国的送礼文化多所着墨。但即使对他而言,送礼问题也形成巨大压力,因此他现在选择不送礼。

「我不送礼的一个原因是因为我常常回去,一年两三次。」阎云翔说: 「我们生活在一个逐渐缩小的地球村中,通讯与旅行愈来愈频繁。现在去中国就像去造访隔壁邻居一样,对方的生活方式和自己类似, 因此不需要(再送礼)。」

 

Easyvoa与空中英语教室吉林出版社合作,推出空中英语在线学习内容,为保护版权,不影响空英的杂志销售,只提供两年前空英的学习资料。如果您喜欢空中英语教室,欢迎加入 Easyvoa空英群115390136。