原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译:yujianihao 转载请注明出处
论坛地址:http://www.ltaaa.com/bbs/thread-477017-1-1.html

Young, patriotic and conservative:understanding China’s millennials

年轻、爱国和保守:了解中国千禧一代

Young people like me areambitious and more plugged in to the world than ever before. But will theybring about a more liberal China?

像我这样的年轻人比以往任何时候都野心勃勃,比以往任何时候都更能融入世界。 但他们会带来更自由的中国吗?



【日期】2018年5月14日

by Yuan Ren
Every generation needs to announce that it isdifferent. But the differences are real in today’s China, a country that hasbeen changing so fast that the experience of each age-group is entirelydifferent to what has gone before.

每一代人都需要宣称自已是不同的。但在今天的中国,这种差异却是实实在在的。一个变化如此之快的国家,每一个年龄段的经历都与以往完全不同。

I was born in the 1980s, in the spring of the new China. When I was achild, most families didn’t have a telephone; by the time I was in my teens,supermarkets started appearing in the cities. It was only once I was a youngadult that, in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, change came full-pelt,symbolised by smartphones and the western brands flooding into the shops.Foreign travel became much easier and young people began studying abroad.

我出生在上世纪80年代, 新中国的春天。当我还是个孩子的时候,大多数家庭都没有电话;到我十几岁的时候,城市里开始出现超市。在我的青年时代,绝无仅有的,翻天覆地的变化到来了。那是在2008年奥运会的筹备期间,标志就是智能手机和西方品牌洪水般涌入了中国,出国旅行变得容易多了,年轻人开始出国留学。

All of which means that, when I look to my parents, the gulf between us iswide. My dad left home at 16 to work in a state-owned factory and so did mymother. Both grew up during the Cultural Revolution, which disrupted the wholeeducation system. When higher education was eventually revived in 1977, theywere part of a tiny and lucky minority to go to university.
Most of that generation faced narrow choices, if any. Many were given jobplacements, which often involved moving far away from home. Lots of youngurbanites were sent to the vast Chinese interior to experience the ruralhardship that persisted there. Some returned, while others remained for life.

这一切都意味着,我与我父母那一代人的差异是巨大的。我父亲16岁离开家在一家国有工厂工作,我的母亲也是如此。他们俩都是文革期间长大的,文革扰乱了整个教育体系。当高等教育最终在1977恢复时,他们是少数能上大学的幸运儿。他们那一代人中的大多数要么没有人生选择,要么选择范围很狭窄。许多人都得到的工作机会都是离家很远的地方。许多年轻城市居民被派往中国各地农村(上山下乡),去体验那里的艰苦生活。(后来)有一些人回来了,另一些人则终身留在农村。

Changes began in 1986 with the introduction of compulsory nine-yearschooling, which was transformative for rural children in particular. Then, in1999, came the widening of higher education, which made university accessible.The state has provided these new opportunities—but unlike in my parents’ time,it doesn’t guide young adults through each step. Now, that’s the job of widersociety. In middle-class families parents will often help boost careeropportunities for the young using connections, and by offering financialsupport.

改革始于1986年,当时实行了九年义务教育,对农村孩子来说,这项改革尤其重要。然后在1999年,高等教育的扩大化使更多的人有机会上大学。国家提供了这些新的机会——但与我父母时代不同的是,国家不再为大学生分配工作。现在的工作机会由更广泛的社会提供。在中产阶级家庭中,父母通常会利用人际关系和提供经济支持来帮助孩子找工作。

But the state has intervened in other ways. I am from the first generationborn under the one-child policy, which came into force after 1980. I rememberI’d often hear parents grumble that as only children, we were “all selfishthese days.” The assumption was that we “little emperors” didn’t know how toget on with other people and would grow up so lacking social acumen that we’dbring on China’s decline.
Well, society didn’t fall—many of us grew up treating cousins likebrothers and sisters. Also, the one-child policy was always less strict thanmany in the west understood. Though I am an only child, the rules allowed manyrural households to have two children, especially if the first was a girl. A30-something friend of mine from Henan province, one of the poorest in thecountry, has two younger sisters and one brother.

但国家却以其他方式进行干预。1980年中国实行独生子女政策,我是之后出生的第一代人。我记得经常听父母抱怨说,作为独生子女,我们“现在都很自私”。他们觉得我们这些“小皇帝”不知道如何与其他人相处,成长的过程中缺乏社交敏锐性,我们会导致中国衰落。
但是,中国并没有衰落。我们还有表兄弟姐妹,许多人从小就像对待亲兄弟姐妹一样对待他们。而且,独生子女政策并不象西方人想象的那样严格。尽管我是独生子女,但按规定,第一胎是女孩的农村家庭可以有两个孩子。我有一个来自河南的30多岁的朋友,他有两个妹妹和一个兄弟,河南是全国最穷的省份之一。

Nonetheless, I wonder whether the constant blaming of “only-childsyndrome” for our flaws hasn’t instilled in us a deep sense of guilt—it is ouroriginal sin. And that has pushed us to prove our elders wrong. My generationturned out to be harder-working and more responsible than anyone had predicted.We are a bridging decade between old and new China. Those of us born in the1980s are not as traditional as the 1970s cohort, and not as entitled as thoseborn in the 1990s. “In my experience, the post-1990s have more of a casual outlookon life and care more about having fun,” said my friend Lily from Beijing,herself born in the late 1970s. “They also disregard consequences… it’s like, Ican leave my job and won’t think about it.”

然而,我们这一代从小到大都被指责有“独生子女综合症”,我不确定是不是这种指责让我们产生了一种类似于原罪的负罪感,于是我们就努力证明我们的长辈是错误的。事实证明我们这代人比任何人想象的更努力——工作更勤奋,更负责任。我们是新旧中国之间的桥梁。80后不像70后那样传统,也不象90后那般拥有特权(享有丰厚的物质条件)。我的70后北京朋友莉莉曾说,“根据我的经验,90后对生活的看法更随意,更关心玩乐。他们做事不那么瞻前顾后,(他们的做派)就好像在说,去他的工作,我才不在乎呢。

Of course, she is describing the lucky ones. For people born in the countryside,the city can still be tough. Many young “internal immigrants” live in crampedbasement dormitories and work in low-wage jobs. They moved for a better life,but their chances are limited, much more so than in the previous generations,when rents were not so exorbitant and social hierarchies were less entrenched.And even when the moving pays off, it can introduce an alienating disjunctionwith home. One newcomer to the city, a 27-year-old barista, told me that he was“always telling mum that she should stop eating leftovers. Sometimes in thesummer the food is nearly bad, and she’ll still keep it. We didn’t have afridge until two years ago.” He now lives in Xi’an, a member of the supposedlypampered post-1990s generation whose childhood was spent in severe ruralpoverty.

当然,她描述的是幸运的人。对于90后的农村孩子来说,城市生活仍然艰难。许多年轻的“农民工”住在狭小的地下室里,干着低薪工作。为了过上好日子,他们背井离乡,但摆在他们面前的机会却十分有限,比前几代人更有限。因为那时房租还不算贵,社会也还没有固化。尽管他们在外面赚到了钱,却因此家乡疏远了。一位27岁的咖啡师告诉我,他“总是告诉妈妈不要再吃剩饭剩菜。夏天,有时食物都快馊了,她还留着。我们直到两年前才有冰箱。”他现在住在西安,他就是人们口中的被宠坏的90后之一。

But even when living very different lives, faraway, younger generations cannot escape familial expectations. Arecently-married 28-year-old gym instructor I know is already facing pressurefrom his mother, who worked as a cleaner in Beijing for a decade, to bao haizi,literally to “hold a child.” “And it has to be a grandson,” he told me. He andhis wife, a yoga teacher, would rather wait until they are financially stable.

但是,即使生活在离家很远的地方,年轻一代也无法逃避家庭的期望。我认识的一位新婚的28岁体育教练已经面临来自母亲的压力,她母亲在北京当了十年清洁工,想“抱孙子(而且一定得是男孩)”。他和妻子是瑜伽老师,他们想等经济稳定了再要孩子。

In the west, the children of the post-war growth period turned out to beliberal hippies—the same cannot be said for the progeny of China’s long boom.They may well be more self-centred, but they are not necessarily moreindependent-minded. Filial piety, the Confucian ideal of having respect forone’s elders and obeying their wishes, is much subtler in the modern age, butstill influential. My cousin, for example, is enrolled in a business courseabroad that was chosen by her father, even though she wanted to do psychology.Her parents continue to plan her internships and career from within China. Iknow graduates who have returned to China at the request of their parents, eventhough they preferred life in the UK, and the move back required them breakingup with their partners.

在西方,战后成长起来的孩子变成了自由派嬉皮士。而成长在中国经济长期繁荣时期的孩子则不是这样。他们很可能更加自我中心,但不一定更独立。孝道,儒家尊重长辈服从长辈意愿的观念,虽然在现代中国变得有点微妙,但仍然有很大的影响。例如我那个在国外留学的表妹,尽管她自己想学心理学,但她还是选择了父亲想让她学的商学。她的父母已安排好让她在中国实习和工作。我认识一些留学生,尽管他们更喜欢在英国生活,但他们还是应父母的要求回到中国,还为此与他们的伴侣分手。

And what about politics? Young Chinese people like me have had all sortsof assumptions projected onto us. We have been called apathetic, as well as selfishand lazy. It’s true that the vast majority of my generation are not muchconcerned about domestic politics, though there is plenty of interest ininternational affairs. Everyone has their gripes but few find anything major tocomplain about. Money often solves problems better than protest. The grumblesabout individual policies tend to be balanced by a wider acknowledgement thatthings have changed vastly for the better. That’s just as well, becausecomplaining can be treacherous territory.

那么政治呢?人们对我们这代年轻人有各种假设,说我们冷漠、自私和懒散。诚然,我们这代人对国内政治并不十分关心,却对国际事务有很大兴趣。每个人都有自己的抱怨,但都无关大局。钱能解决很多问题,比抗议更有用。对某个具体政策抱怨,往往在我们了解到更广泛的事实后往好的方面转变。这也有好处,因为抱怨可能是一个危险的领域。

A willingness to agree with criticism of China can be put down to westerninfluence, especially by our elders. Conversely, if you talk to a westernerabout politically sensitive topics, there’s a good chance they think they knowbetter—that you’ve been “brainwashed” by the state.
That sort of accusation and dismissiveness infuriates one of my friends,who is completing her PhD in social sciences at Peking University. Before that,she studied at the LSE. “Why do foreigners always want to bring everything backto politics?” she asked. You often hear this from young, well-educated Chinese.It’s born out of a frustration: why can’t you see what China and its governmenthave achieved—hundreds of millions lifted out of grinding poverty—withouttainting it with politics? And it’s not hard to understand this defensiveness,given how transformative China’s long boom has been for our generation.

受西方的影响,我们愿意接受对中国的批评,尤其是上了年纪的人。相反,如果你和西方人谈论政治敏感话题,很有可能西方人会认为他们更了解真相——(因为按他们的说法),你已经被国家“洗脑”了。
我的一个朋友曾这种指责和蔑视而愤怒不已,她目前正在北京大学攻读社会科学博士学位,之前她曾在伦敦商学院学习。“为什么外国人总是把一切都扯到政治上?”她问道。你经常从受过良好教育的年轻中国人那里听到这句话。这源于一种挫折感:为什么你们看不到中国和它的政府所取得的成就: 撇开了政治,让数亿人摆脱了极度贫困? 考虑到中国的长期繁荣在多大程度上改变了我们这代人的生活,就不难理解为什么我们要捍卫自己国家了。

“And what of the next generation?”I ask the gym instructor whose mother is lobbying for a grandchild. Will therebe another gap between us and our children, as we have with our own parents?“These days, you are just contributing to society by having children,” said myfriend. For him, the Confucian idea of children looking after their parents inold age could fade away. “It’s not like before, you can’t rely on them for thefuture.”

“下一代又如何呢?”我问上文提到的那位母亲想抱孙子的体育教练。我们和孩子之间会不会有另外一种代沟,就像我们和自己的父母一样?他回答说“现在,生孩子算是社会做贡献了。”对他来说,儒家关于孩子为父母养老的观念可能渐行渐远。“这不像以前那样,你将来不能指望他们。”

Today’s young people are ambitious and more plugged into the world thanever before, even though Facebook and Twitter are blocked. It has fallen to usto explain China to the world. Many are readier to defend the status quo:compared with their parents, they can be more vocal in their defence of the nation.Those who have lived abroad can end up more patriotic—they have experiencedwestern culture and democracy, and yet they still come home.

今天的年轻人比以往任何时候都野心勃勃,比以往任何时候都更能融入世界,尽管Facebook和Twitter被封锁了。我们应该向世界解释一下中国的情况。许多年轻人更愿意维护现状:与他们的父母相比,他们可以更加直言不讳地捍卫这个国家。那些在国外生活过的人最终可能会变得更加爱国——他们经历了西方的文化和民主,但他们仍然选择回家。