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Why a TV show about celebrity fathers has enraptured China

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Where Are We Going, Dad? presents a newgeneration of men who, in a break
from Chinese tradition, now take an activerole in their children's
lives.
《爸爸,我们去哪里》,脱离中国传统的新一代爸爸们现在在他们孩子的生命中正扮演着积极的作用。


Five celebrity fathers and their childrentraipse around China, riding
camels through the western deserts, fishing offthe east coast, and
selling vegetables for their bus fare home in remotesouthwestern Yunnan
province. One dad doesn’t know how to do his daughter’shair, but give
him a couple of episodes—he’ll figure it out. Another one mustsurvive
with his son for three days in the desert, where, because neither
cancook, the two only eat instant noodles.
5个名人及其他们的孩子玩遍中国,在西部沙漠中骑骆驼,在东部沿海钓鱼,在云南省卖菜筹措路费。其中一名爸爸不知道要如何给自己女儿做头发,但是给他几期时间,他就知道了。另外一名爸爸得和自己的儿子在沙漠中熬过三天,由于两人都不会煮饭,所以只能吃方便面充饥。

These story lines are part of Where Are WeGoing Dad? which, since its
debut in October, has become one of China’s mostpopular television
shows, averaging more than 600 million viewers each week(and more than
640 million downloads online). Sponsorship rights for the show’ssecond
season sold for 312 million yuan (about $50 million), more than tentimes
higher than the rights to the first season. And searches for Where Are
WeGoing Dad? turn up over 40 million hits on Sina Weibo, China’s
Twitter.
这就是这档节目的故事情节,十月份开播以来,成为中国最热门的节目之一,每周平均都有6亿观众收看(而网络下载量是6亿4000万)。第二季的冠名费达到了312百万,是第一季的十倍多。新浪微博上的搜索量是4000多万。

What accounts for the show’s popularity?The show features a new
generation of Chinese fathers, who, as part of thecountry’s burgeoning
middle class, have faced more exposure to modernchild-rearing techniques
such as taking an active role with their children.
为什么这档节目如此成功?主要讲述的是作为中国新兴中产阶级一部分的新一代父亲们,节目中他们面临着如何更好的教育自己的子女,比如在孩子面前扮演积极的角色。

“Intraditional Chinese culture, the conventional conception of
parenthood is thatthe father is stern and the mother is kind. But on the
show, we see fathers whoare much gentler on their kids and more
involved in their upbringing,” said LiMinyi, an associate professor of
early childhood education at the leading BeijingNormal University. “This
show raises an important question for modern Chinesesociety—what is the
role of fathers in today’s China?”
“在传统的中国文化中,传统的亲子关系中,父亲是严肃的,而母亲是和蔼的。但是在这档节目中,我们可以看到父亲们对孩子甚是温柔,也更加积极的参与到孩子
的成长中,”北京师范大学的儿童教育专家李敏仪如是说。“这档节目给当代中国社会提出了一个重要的问题——父亲在如今的中国应该扮演什么样的角色?”

Confucian tradition dictates that there isno human trait more important
than filial piety: obeying your parents’ wishesand looking after them in
their old age. But Chinese parents increasinglyrealize that discussing
and respecting their children’s choices may be a moreappropriate way to
prepare them for modern society. “As they raise theirchildren, parents
are growing up at the same time,” said Wang Renping, apopular education
expert, in an interview with the Qianjiang Evening News.“They cannot use
parenting styles from 20 years ago to guide the development ofchildren
born 20 years later.”
儒家传统认为百善孝为先:遵从父母的心愿,老了以后要赡养他们。但是中国的父母们越来越意识到讨论和尊重孩子的选择将有利于孩子在现代社会的发展。“在抚
养孩子的同时,父母们自己也在成长,”大众教育专家王仁平在接受《钱江晚报》采访时如是说。“人们不能用20年前的教育方式来教育20年后出生的孩子。”

“There’s ahuge difference between the way our parents raised us and how
we are raisingour children. This is an extreme example, but I remember
my friend telling methat growing up, her mother would tie her to her bed
and go to work,” said ZhouLingling, one of the co-founders of
Daxiaoaiwan, a new media magazine on WeChatwhich, in contrast to
traditional Chinese techniques, encourages parents to lettheir children
play. In just five months since its founding, the magazine hasattracted
over ten thousand subscribers.
“上一辈养育我们的方式和如今我们养育下一辈的方式存在巨大差异。这是个极端的例子,我还记得我的朋友告诉我她是如何成长的,说父母把他绑在床上,然后去
上班,”微信平台上的新媒体杂志《大小爱玩》的联合创办人周玲玲如是说,该杂志鼓励父母让孩子们玩。在成立的5个月后,该杂志就已经拥有了1万订阅者。

Part of the appeal of Where Are We GoingDad? is the chance to peek into
the lives of popular Chinese celebrities andtheir children. Audiences
revel in watching the failed attempts of celebritydads making dinner,
braiding hair, and disciplining children—tasks often leftto mothers in a
society still influenced by the notion that “men rule outsideand women
rule inside.”
这档节目的部分吸引力在于可以让我们窥视到大众名人及其孩子们的生活。观众们很爱看这些明星爸爸们做饭不成功、编头发不成功、以及教育孩子不成功——这些活儿本来是由女性来做的,因为传统的“男主外,女主内”观念依旧存在。

The children—and their bumblingfathers—show remarkable candor. “I’m best
at washing up, I can’t do anythingelse,” confides one dad to another as
they squat, doing the dishes aftereveryone had eaten dinner. “My wife
is great—she’s been raising our son for sixyears. I’m exhausted and it’s
only been three days. I’m buying her a bunch offlowers when we go
back,” confesses another.
这些孩子——以及他们笨手笨脚的爸爸——在节目中都非常坦白。“我只会洗碗,其他我都不会干,”在餐后洗碗时其中一名爸爸对另一名爸爸如是说。“我的妻子太厉害了——她教养我们孩子6年了。我带三天孩子就觉得好累了。回去后我要给她买一大束的花,”另外一人如是说。

The popularity of the show is measured inmore than just advertising
revenue. T-shirts, jeans, jackets, accessories,suitcases, and backpacks
used in the show are selling out on e-commercewebsites, and featured
locations have become travel hotspots, with fans eagerto sleep in the
same beds as the celebrities and their children. A spin-offmovie may be
released in conjunction with Chinese New Year, and governmentwebsites
predict that the all-important civil servant interviews next year
willfeature questions about the show. Television stations across China
have jumpedon the bandwagon, launching talk shows and reality programs
about therelationship between parents and children.
这款节目的成功不仅仅在广告收入上成功。节目中使用过的体恤衫、牛仔裤、夹克衫、配饰、手提箱以及背包都放到电商网站进行出售,而他们去过的地方也成了旅
游热点地区,粉丝们急切的想睡在名人及其孩子们睡过的床上。这档节目的电影版可能在春节期间推出,政府网站还估计明年的公务员面试中将出现有关这档节目的
问题。中国各地电视台也马上跟风,推出有关这档节目的脱口秀和社会传真节目。

After each episode goes to air, the Chineseinternet explodes with
commentary on each celebrity’s parenting style. “Thefive fathers on the
show all have very diverse parenting styles, which is greatbecause it
shows people there isn’t just one way to raise a child,” said LiMinyi.
在每期节目播完后,中国网上会出现大量评论,对每个名人的养育方式进行评价。“这5个爸爸的养育方式都不一样,其实这样才最好,因为这让人们意识到养育孩子的方式不止一种。”李敏仪说。

Zhang Liang, a cook turned supermodel, isan audience favorite for
treating his son, Tiantian, more like a friend. ActorGuo Tao tries hard
to communicate with his son, Shi Tou, but is seen as a moretraditional
Chinese father, and has been criticized online for being too harsh.The
show’s most famous celebrity, Taiwanese race car driver-turned-actor
LinZhiying, was originally praised as progressive and patient with his
son Kimi.But as the season progressed, fans began to criticize him for
raising aspoiled, undisciplined boy.
张亮,之前是厨师,后来成模特,他把孩子当朋友,所以很受观众待见。郭涛很用心与儿子交流,但更多的被认为是一位传统的爸爸,也因为太严格而受到网民的批评。而来自台湾的林志颖一开始被众人认为是积极的、耐心的父亲,但是后来发现他养了个娇宠和散漫的儿子,因此受到批评。

The behavior of these fathers have causedordinary Chinese people to
reflect. “As I watch the show, I find myselfreflecting on how I am
raising my own child. I think that’s part of the show’sappeal,” said Yan
Jiangning, another co-founder of Daxiaoaiwan.
这些父亲的行为引起了普通中国人的反思。“当我在看这档节目时,我开始反思自己是如何教养孩子的。我觉得这就是这档节目吸引人的地方,”《大小爱玩》的另一位合伙人如是说。

Even the People’s Daily, the officialmouthpiece of the Chinese
government, is pleased at the success of Where Are WeGoing, Dad?. “The
deep affection on display in the show is heart-warmingand ignites a
desire in people to return home to loved ones,” it said in anop-ed. In
2012, the Ministry for Education issued, for the first time, aroadmap
for teachers and parents about how to raise 3-6 year olds, indicating
agrowing emphasis on early childhood education.
甚至是人民日报也对该节目的成功喜笑颜开。“节目中所展示出来的深深的爱真是太感人了,这点燃了人们回家、回到亲人怀抱中的愿望。”在专栏中写道。2012年,教育部首次颁布路线方针要求老师和家长如何养育3-6岁儿童,这表明越发重视儿童早期教育。

The success of Where Are We Going Dad?,adapted from a Korean show by
Hunan Television, is especially remarkableconsidering China’s tightened
regulations against foreign-sourced television.This year, Beijing banned
foreign programs in prime-time (between 7 and 10 pm),and beginning in
2014 domestic satellite television channels will only beallowed to
purchase the rights to one foreign program a year.
这档节目由湖南台从韩国引进,考虑到中国对外来电视节目的严格监管,这档节目的成功更是意味深远。今年,中国禁止外国节目在黄金时间(晚上7点到10点)播放,并且从2014年开始,国内卫星频道一年只能引进一部外国电视节目。

Hunan Television isn’t fazed. Where Are WeGoing Dad?, has thrived
despite airing in an unfavorable time slot: 10-12on Friday nights.
这对湖南电视台并不产生影响。尽管是在周五晚上10-12点播出,这档节目还是取得了骄人的成绩。

2016-06-23

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