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The chinese stare

stares.jpg

Do you have blonde hair, blue eyes, and very light skin? Congratulations. You have just earned yourself a minimum of 1 million stares while you are teaching in China. You will be stared at on the street, in the bus, at the bank, in the restaurant, at the train station and wherever else you go. You may even have the honor of causing some car accidents as drivers take their eyes off the road and strain their necks to look at you. It does not matter what your mother taught you about staring at other people;if you look different in China you will be noticed and observed.

你是不是拥有金发碧眼和雪白的皮肤?是的话,那就恭喜你了。你在中国教书时,你会得到至少100万次的“注视”。在街上,在公交车上,在银行,在饭店,在火车站,不管哪里,你都会被人盯着看。你要是很“荣幸”的话,还会引起些交通事故,因为司机伸出脖子来看你而没有看路。你妈妈以前教你不要盯着其他人看都没用的,如果你看起来与众不同,你会受到别人的关注,他们会观察你。

But do not let the stares bother or intimidate you. The looks are usually out of curiosity especially if you are in a city where few foreigners live. For many people in China, life is very dull and repetitive and your brief appearance may lighten up their day. Some of them may even muster up enough courage to come and talk to you. There are too many Chinese people who have studied English but have never had the chance to practice with a foreigner. If this opportunity arises, be polite and encouraging.

但不要让这些“注视”烦扰到你,或者威胁到你。如果你所在的城市很少有外国人,这些“注视”是因为出于好奇。中国的很多人,生活很无聊,日复一日,你的突然出现,可能会让他们的生活出现亮点。他们中有些人可能会鼓起勇气来和你聊天。很多中国人学习英语,但从来没有机会跟外国人练习说英语。如果有碰到这样的机会,就礼貌对待他们,鼓励他们。

However, I do talk to my students about good manners. I explain to them that in my home country there are people with purple hair and orange hair. There are people with one arm and one leg. There are even people with glass eyes. But I inform my students that we do not stare at such people. They are human beings just as I am in a human being in China. Staring at me because I am different is rude. One glance might be fine. Maybe even a second glance is permissible. My students usually nod their heads in agreement when I talk about this topic but I doubt any of them stop this bad habit.

然而,我确实对我的学生们就良好的礼仪谈论过。我向他们解释说在我的祖国,有紫发和橘发的人,有缺胳膊少腿的人,有戴玻璃假眼珠的人。但是我告诉我的学生们我们绝不盯着这些人看。他们和在中国的我一样都是人类。因为我与众不同而死盯着我看是很粗鲁的。瞟一眼是可以的,或许看一秒钟也是可以允许的。当我说这个话题的时候我的学生通常都点头表示同意,但是我怀疑他们谁都没有停止这个坏习惯。

 

So, people are going to stare at you; it is just part of the culture. But you can stare back! I do this frequently. Usually, the ‘offending’ starer drops the gaze and turns red. Then I smile kindly. I do not want to make anyone feel bad. However, I do draw the line at people who want to take pictures of me. I do not take pictures of people in China without asking for their permission. I should be shown the same courtesy. If someone attempts to take an unsolicited picture, I will do everything in my power to make sure the photo does not turn out  well.

所以,人们会盯着你看;这就是当地文化的一部分。但是你可以瞪回去!我就经常干这种事。一般来说,那些“无礼”的盯着我看的人都会脸红地收回目光。然后我会友好地笑笑。我不希望让人感觉不爽。不过,被人拍照片就真的触犯到我的底线了。在中国,我从不在没有经过允许的情况下拍别人的照片。因此,我应该受到同样的礼遇。如果有人想未经我的允许就拍照片的话,我会用一切办法让照片拍不好。

Do not take yourself too seriously in China. Have fun and enjoy the attention. People are just curious about you. Sure, it might get annoying after awhile. But just remember, it might be the only chance you have to get a taste of what it must feel like to be a movie star.

在中国不要把自己太当回事儿了。欢欢乐乐地享受关注吧。人们只是对你很好奇而已。当然过了一会儿你可能就会觉得很烦。但是记住,这可能是你仅有的机会让你尝尝当明星的滋味。

2016-06-24

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