2007年01月10日

赌博是现代的鸦片?

Gambling is the opium of the 21st century

By Cai Shangyao(蔡尚耀)

In the early 19th century some Western powers such as Britain aggressively exported opium to China. The effects on Chinese society were devastating. The nation was subsequently defeated by the Western powers in the Opium War of 1840-42, thereby beginning a century of national humiliation.

More than one-and-a-half centuries have lapsed, and opium no longer poses a serious threat to our national existence. However, gambling as another form of addiction is becoming an increasingly serious threat to our country.

Gambling is now a widespread issue across China, an affliction with great social damage to the Chinese people. In China, gamblers include all sorts of people from various professional backgrounds. Due to the social influences that condone gambling, growing numbers of young people are indulging in gambling, illegally playing poker machines or gambling online.

It is reported in the news media that China is surrounded by countries where gambling is allowed along or not far from its borders, such as Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. Some Chinese have even gone as far as Australia, Europe or the United States for gambling.

Many people are not quite aware of the danger of acquiring the gambling habit. Some people say that gambling is a personal choice, a recreational interest that is an enjoyable pastime. Yes, when treated properly, gambling is a recreational activity that does not pose a problem. However, gambling can be addictive, and has very similar effect on the individual to opium. This can lead to irresponsible gambling where gamblers may end up not being able to control themselves. As opium-smoking has a potent and deleterious effect on the mind, body and behaviour of an addict, gambling can corrupt and ruin souls and lives.

Gambling is often associated with crime or misfortune. In recent years a number of senior officials have been implicated in gambling-related corruption scandals. The participation of public officials in gambling activities has not only been detrimental to the national interest and public welfare, but has also had an adverse impact on social morals. As for ordinary people who are addicted to gambling, this urge can make them do things they wouldn’t usually do like go without food, lie, steal, or miss work or school. If more people are lured into gambling, it could mean more people with financial problems, bankruptcies, crime and even suicide caused by the addiction.

The gambling casinos outside China act like huge pumps actively drawing money from the pockets of Chinese people, posing a potential threat to the national economy and social stability.

To counteract the negative effects of gambling, more efforts should be made to raise public awareness of the dangers of pathological gambling. Teachers should be encouraged to learn about the dangers of gambling so they can teach students to recognize the hazard.

We must severely crack down on gambling, especially gambling with public funds. Instead of feeding the “get rich quick?philosophy which undermines peoples?belief in hard work and thrift, we should develop a social atmosphere which inspires and encourages in people a sense of responsibility and a positive, healthy attitude towards wealth ?to get rich honestly and righteously.

2006年12月12日

网语是妄语还是旺语?
–关于网语的英文评论

No LOL matter: Cyber lingo shows up in academia
By Chandra M. Hayslett(香德拉·海斯莱特)

Teachers, administrators and businesspeople say abbreviations commonly used in e-mails, instant messaging and text messages are creeping into assignments and formal writing. “E-mails are usually composed at lightning speeds, without any concern about editing, clarity or word choice,” one teacher says.

Tia Burnett couldn’t believe what she was seeing when students turned in work that looked more like an instant-message conversation than an English assignment.

Some of her students at Orange High School in New Jersey’s Essex County started sneaking abbreviations — “u” for “you,” “2″ for “to” and “4″ for “for” — into their papers and other class assignments.

Burnett quickly put a stop to it.

“I would remind students not to use abbreviations in writing. This is casual e-mail language,” said Burnett, who is in her first year as language-arts supervisor for grades 7-12.

Teachers, administrators and businesspeople say abbreviations commonly used in e-mails, instant messaging and text messages are creeping into assignments and formal writing, and some believe it is hurting the way students think.

Tom Moran, English supervisor at East Brunswick High School in Middlesex County, N.J., said the pace of electronic communication has “infected” some students’ writing.

“E-mails are usually composed at lightning speeds, without any concern about editing, clarity or word choice,” Moran said. “This is fine, since most e-mails are not meant to stand alone as polished pieces of prose. The problem arises when students begin thinking at that speed without pausing to consider what, exactly, they are saying.”

The volume of electronic communication is growing at a startling pace. During the first six months of 2006, 64.8 billion text messages were sent, nearly double the first half of 2005.

The effects vary, scholars said.

In Canada, two university professors concluded there is no adverse impact on syntax or the formation of sentences. In their study, University of Toronto linguistics professors Derek Denis and Sali Tagliamonte found that although students may be text-messaging, most messages don’t contain abbreviated words.

“In our corpus of over a million words, all the IM forms accounted for only about 2 percent,” Denis said, noting they studied 70 teens during 2004 and 2005. “Though these teens are using more informal language than in their speech, they are also using more formal variables as well.”

“This tells us that teens are using English vibrantly, creatively and are able to use it correctly.”

That may be the case for Canadian teens, but Rutgers University lecturer Alex Lewis says he teaches freshmen basic writing mechanics and grammar in his expository-writing course.

“These kids spend an enormous amount of time writing, but their formal understanding of writing is limited,” Lewis said.

Naomi Baron, professor of linguistics at American University in Washington, pointed out that some IM and texting abbreviations have histories that predate the computer revolution — “w/” for “with,” for instance — and are likely to remain a part of language.

“I would not be surprised to see some of these abbreviations around several decades from now,” Baron said. “Similarly, an abbreviation such as ‘LOL’ (laugh out loud) or ‘BTW’ (by the way) might stick, while others, such as ‘OMG’ (oh my God) or ‘IMHO’ (in my humble opinion) might pass — through the luck of the draw.”

Below is a much reprinted commentary on cyber lingo by Chinese Writer Cai Shangyao(蔡尚耀)
Cyberlingo-a jargon not for general use

By Cai Shangyao(蔡尚耀)

If you’ve spent any time at all involved in any sort of text chat, you’ve probably seen a bunch of letters that seem like gibberish. You may have seen DD, 886, KPM, MM or one of many others. These cryptic letters are very popular among the younger generation. If today’s pre-teens and teens didn’t use this sort of Internet jargon in chat rooms and on IM (instant messaging), they would be considered “weird” and wouldn’t be accepted by other teens.

The use of Internet jargon is no longer confined to cyberspace, it has gone from the virtual world to the real world. The most glaring example is that primary and high school students have begun to use Internet jargon in their written work. A teacher in a middle school in Changsha, capital city of Central China’s Hunan Province, recently was surprised to see scores of strange words such as “200″ and “PMP” in a Chinese composition written by one of her students. The teacher had to ask the student to translate these words into standard Chinese, and the student explained that “200″ means dongwuyuan (zoo) and “PMP” means paimapi (bootlicker).

This secret language used by Internet nerds has different names – cyberlingo, Internet jargon, Internet language. Opinions vary about this new language used online. Some people believe that cyberlingo fully reflects the creativity and personality of young people. Some go even further, saying that the emergence of this new Internet language is a normal phenomenon and a necessary stage in the development of the Chinese language. Others worry that the abusive use of Internet jargon will finally undermine standard use of Chinese and even jeopardize its purity.

In my opinion, this new language used by Internet users is essentially Internet chatterers’ jargon. Every industry has its own jargon for people in the industry to communicate with each other. Online chat has its own lingo – cyberlingo. My advice is don’t be scared of it, but let it take its natural course. There is no need to be excited or worried about the use of cyberlingo.

Some people question whether cyberlingo is a normative language. Whether it is normative or not depends largely on whether it will gain wide acceptance. Whether a neologism is a correct word or not should not be judged by linguistic standards but rather by the test of time. If it is a good neologism it will slowly spread and become widely accepted, if not it will not survive.

In the second place, new words are needed to describe new things and new concepts. New words will continually emerge in tandem with socioeconomic development and human progress, and the traditional language will be continually enriched with the emergence of new words. A living language both accumulates new words of value and preserves what is old and of value. Some Internet neologism, such as webaholic, hacker and e-mail, have gained widespread familiarity and acceptance.

Some people may ask: Why invent new terms when the vocabulary already exists? However, these people are not aware that Internet jargon is a feature of the online culture, crossing race, gender and geography. As there is legal jargon for lawyers, there is Internet jargon for Internet users. For Internet users, cyberlingo somewhat extends and enriches vocabulary, serving to enliven conversation.

However, the special Internet jargon is mostly used inside chat rooms, where communication needs to be easy and fast. My point is, a little Internet jargon is fine or funny, but too much jargon is never a good thing. Moreover, we must be cautious about using Internet jargon in real life. Inappropriate use or misuse of Internet jargon can give rise to misunderstanding, misinterpretation and other communication problems.

2006年10月31日

木子美和竹影青瞳的故事(英文版)

前一阵子木子美和竹影青瞳可是"网络红人"呢,关于她们的中文消息铺天盖地。本人是英文爱好者,就想查找些有关这两个红人的英文消息报道述评之类的。

国内英文媒体关于木子美和竹影青瞳的文章不多。在People’s Daily Online(人民日报网络英文版)和Xinhuanet(新华社网络英文版)上找到同样一篇“Body card" played at ease?”的文章,都转载自China Daily(中国日报)的同名文章,文章署名为Cai shangyao(蔡尚耀)

"Body card" played at ease?

Not so long ago, both Chinese ladies and gentlemen hid their faces and left the theatre cursing after seeing the scene in the movie "The Wilderness" in which Liu Xiaoqing indulged in sexual intercourse with her lover.

But today, even in the remotest village in China, even the most conservative of old ladies is inured to stark-naked stripteasers on earthen stages where the whirling of youthful bodies puts the audience under a spell. The Chinese are becoming more and more tolerant of and liberal about sex, at a pace even faster than the GDP growth.

Humans are characterized by the pursuit of fashions. The boldest of fashions may be called "avant-garde", so the bold leaders of fashions consider it a high honour to be described this way. The forerunners draw sufficient attention to allow them to retire, so their followers have to go even further if they are to be counted truly avantgarde in their turn. Avant-garde women are surging onward at lightning speed, nothing less would enable them to draw enough attention.

Just before the half-veiled "Shanghai Baby" Wei Hui and its attendant commotion had faded into the background, Muzimei suddenly appeared online. Since June 19 last year Muzimei began posting her personal diary on the website she had set up at BlogChina. This diary is a record of Muzimei’s sexual experiences with different men. Muzimei immediately became a hot topic of discussion on and off the Internet.

"I want to record what my life has been like even if I’m interfered with, destroyed …" Muzimei may still persist in living a radically nonconformist life. After creating an orgy of moral and psychological scourging, Muzimei retired from the public eye. Nevertheless, this woman who gained overnight fame by writing with her body has evidently outdistanced even Wei Hui.

As people are fervently talking about Muzimei, a new public tumult has arisen, this time from a writer known as Zhuying Qingtong (Bamboo shadow green pupil) on the Internet.

Zhuying Qingtong, a known female writer at a web community, was already a controversial figure due to her provocative writings that challenged established social norms. She once called herself a "mortal sinner", and declared that "Zhuying Qingtong" would be renowned among mankind. Since February 2003 she began writing articles to publish on the web, which drew eager attention very quickly. After this, Zhuying Qingtong gained added popularity by regularly updating her nude photos on the web. About her nakedness, she had this to say: "Why should I feel ashamed? I take nude photos of myself because I’m drawn by an irresistible impulse to do so. I want to see my lovely form, and let others see it. I’m wondering if I will go off my head one day and die of love for myself."

What kind of "avant garde" novelty can we expect to see after Zhuying Qingtong? What needs tp be done to be considered truly avant garde? Time will tell, so let’s wait and see.

另有一篇来自《上海英文星报》,是关于芙蓉姐姐、木子美和竹影青瞳的,没有署名。
 Ego pays off

Shanghai Star. 2005-06-30
THE name "Sister Furong (lotus)" has recently appeared in the entertainment news on one of the largest portal websites in China, sina.com, together with the hottest news such as that of Tom Cruise’s marriage to his young sweetheart on July 4. By June 27, this name had become the most frequently googled entertainment word, receiving about 1.27 million searches, followed by those for top Taiwanese singer Jay Chow.

Sister Furong’s fame arose soon after her photos – with farcical poses to highlight her S-shaped curves – accompanied by her narcissistic words from the Tsinghua University BBS were posted onto tianyaclub.com, one of China’s largest online forums.

Now thousands of people wait in front of their computers for her newest photos every day, either making fun of her body or condemning her opinions about herself. On the other hand, some speak of her courage and have become her fans. Collectively, they are called the "Furong Cult" and the fans are humorously referred to as "lotus roots."

Furong doesn’t have a pretty face but she has the voluptuous figure that most Chinese women don’t have – what she describes as: "D-cup breasts, round bottom, a 50-cm slim waist and weight under 45 kilograms. Wherever I go, I soon become the focus of the crowd." That description is not exactly what people see in her photos – she does have big breasts, which people can easily see through her transparent clothing, but she is not slim and even has a sagging belly.

Her biggest interest is dancing, which helped her become known to students in China’s elite Peking and Tsinghua universities. Links to the video of her exaggerated dance performance at Tsinghua University were shared among friends through MSN and there is an online site to educate "Furong illiterates."

She also became a sought-after figure by the media, but after several interviews, she kept herself away from the limelight.

When a Shanghai Star reporter tried to contact her cell phone, the call did not get through for the phone had been switched off. She did not reply to the reporter’s short message, but she has posted a message on the web, saying that she will hold a press conference soon.

Furong said she has believed she would become famous since she was a little girl because of her special qualities. Yet she never expected that she could realize her dream so soon and be known to so many people within such a short period.

Yu Hai, professor of sociology at Fudan University, sees Furong as an extreme example of an ordinary person striving to become a celebrity.

"To some extent, everyone can find part of him- or herself in Furong," Yu said. "We all want to show off, to make others pay attention to or like us."

Hunger for fame

Sister Furong is not the first "Internet celebrity" to become famous almost overnight.

In 2003, Muzimei (her real name is Li Li) became the forerunner of the trend for female bloggers to gain fame through bold descriptions of sexual activities in their writings or naked photos of themselves. In one of Muzimei’s blog stories, she wrote about "wild sex" she once had.

Like Furong, Muzimei is not especially pretty.

"When a person is not the type that always gets attention and is envied but wants to be known, he or she has to realize it in a ’special’ way," Yu said.

The Internet celebrities in China, almost all female, have chosen to use their body or sex to become famous.

"The Internet is like karaoke, where everyone can express themselves. But women can use their bodies to gain attention right away. New figures like Sister Furong and Muzimei will appear and they will all climb onto the stage in the same way," Yu said.

Cost of fame

Beijing blogger Wang Yufei thought the incentives for those bold female Internet celebrities at the very beginning might not be the desire for fame.

"They are different from ordinary people so they naturally attract people’s attention," she said. She told the Shanghai Star that she never wanted her own blog to be read by anyone beyond friends.

However, online fame did change the celebrities’ lives.

Sister Furong has received an audition for a movie and she said she wanted to become a comedienne.

A book by Muzimei, priced at 20 yuan (US$2.40), which contains her diary, poems and short stories, was quickly published after she became well known. Muzimei, who was once an editor of a Guangzhou-based magazine, has been given a job as marketing manager of blogchina.com, the largest Chinese blog.

Zhuying Qingtong, another online star who posted her own naked photos on a BBS, quit her job and charges people who want to set up websites in her name and journalists seeking exclusive interviews, in order to "make a living".

Muzimei and Zhuying Qingtong quit their former jobs because of the pressure from their employers after their online activities became known. Sister Furong’s superior has asked her to stop her Internet activities. No matter whether the talk between Furong and her employer has affected her or not, she has removed all her stories from her blog, saying she was tired of people criticizing her every day.
 
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Copyright by Shanghai Star.

 

2006年10月12日

和谐社会应是城乡和谐的社会

Urban-rural income gap

By Cai Shangyao

Shanghai Star. 2004-10-21

As a result of the sluggish growth in the income of farmers, the income gap between urban and rural residents has expanded over the last 20 years. The urban-rural per capita income ratio was on the order of 1.7 to 1 in 1985 and widened to 3.1 to 1 in 2002. If the various subsidies and benefits enjoyed by urban residents were taken into account, the actual income gap between urban and rural people would rise to 6 to 1.

As a general rule, when a country’s per capita gross national product (GNP) reaches between US$800 and US$1,000, the per capita income of urban residents is approximately 1.7 times that of rural residents. But judging from media reports, it is obvious that urban-rural income disparity in China is far greater than the disparity in other countries. In fact, China’s urban-rural income gap is among the widest in the world.

Given the geographical disadvantage of rural areas and the relatively low education level of the population there, a certain degree of income disparity between urban and rural populations is inevitable and can be held as reasonable. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that a 6-to-1 income ratio between urban and rural residents is by no means normal.

The separate management of urban and rural areas is still present in our society, the dual structure in the urban and rural economy has not yet been reformed, discriminatory policies are still too frequently found, and rural residents do not have the same access to development opportunities as urban residents.

It is precisely because of these unfair or unreasonable policies and practices that the income gap between rural and urban residents has grown beyond a reasonable level. Equal opportunities do not necessarily produce equal outcomes, but highly unequal outcomes are usually due to unequal opportunities at the start.

One classic example is the gap between urban and rural education. In 2002, China invested more than 580 billion yuan (US$70 billion) in education, of which 77 per cent was spent in urban areas inhabited by less than 40 per cent of the total population. The 60 per cent-plus rural population only got 23 per cent of the total education expenditure. This further intensified the marked differences between urban and rural education, contributing to strong socio-economic stratification and large rural-urban divides.

Moreover, the taxes and fees in rural areas haven’t been substantially cut, and rural residents have no access to state welfare such as medical care. As a result, the already-disadvantaged farmers are further disadvantaged and alienated from the society.

Farmers constitute 64 per cent of China’s total population. If they are not given fair treatment and equal opportunities to take themselves out of disadvantageous positions, then the fundamental justice of the whole society is undermined, and economic and social development suffers. The urban-rural income gap is an issue of social justice. Without a solution to this problem, there can be no true solution to the problem of justice in our society. That is why we can no longer afford to be oblivious to the dire consequences of the excessively wide urban-rural income gap.

The serious problems highlighted by the 6-to-1 urban-rural income ratio should be drawn to the attention of the government and the public. What is more noteworthy and important is how to redress the damage caused by improper policies and practices of the past decades, and to narrow the standard-of-living gap between urban and rural residents to a reasonable and acceptable extent.

 

2006年09月14日

节欲,还是放纵?
Abstinence or promiscuity?

Premarital sex is a highly controversial issue in society.What is your opinion on premarital sex?
Here is a variety of opinions from some commentators.

1.Premarital sex: Is abstinence the best policy?

By Cai Shangyao(蔡尚耀)

About two years ago, seven college girls in Chengdu of Southwest China’s Sichuan Province signed a "purity pledge" and established an "alliance for flawless youth" for the purpose of opposing premarital sex.

They said they decided to do so after they witnessed the emotional pain and physical complications that afflicted some college girls as a result of premarital sex.

And during this summer vacation, several college girls in Beijing and Nanjing launched an online petition campaign urging college students to abstain from premarital sex. The petition has sparked a debate over premarital sex, making it a hot topic of discussion throughout the country.

In modern times no one would deny that sexual attraction between men and women is natural and that sex can be a very important part of a relationship. In fact, sex is the physiological basis of erotic love, and a natural expression of love to a certain degree. However, sex is also a violent force which may lead to dire consequences if it runs out of control.

Premarital sex is an issue closely related to social conventions, culture and spiritual life. It is not mere sexual impulse, as some have been saying, but a matter of social significance.

From a medical point of view, premarital intercourse is not good for youngsters, for they don’t have the capacity to sustain its impact either physiologically or psychologically. Premarital intercourse can create many problems that have a negative effect on sexual feeling and marital sexual life.

However, the reality is inescapable: premarital sex is winning more and more consent. A few decades ago, a premaritally pregnant woman would be condemned by public opinion, she might even be forced to take her own life. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see a bride well-advanced in pregnancy at a wedding. Is this progress or regress? No one knows for sure.

Available data indicate that there are 235 million young people aged 15-24 years in China, and 1 billion young people in the same age group around the world. Globally speaking, teenagers account for one half of the number of women who undergo induced abortions, and half of new AIDS cases occur in teenagers. The primary mode of AIDS transmission globally is heterosexual sexual contact, and teenagers are largely unaware of the perils of this form of AIDS transmission. Therefore, teenage premarital sex is a problem that cannot be overlooked.

The liberation of human sexuality from traditional moral constraints has caused many health and social problems – venereal diseases, AIDS, drug abuse, premarital or extramarital pregnancy, teenage mothers, psychological and interpersonal problems, and so on and so forth

We are witnessing a new trend toward virginity before marriage. More and more young people are saying that they won’t have sex until they get married. In the US alone there are 500,000 youngsters who have sworn that oath.

They believe that sex is somewhere there waiting for you, then why rush for it? Even when you are already 20-years-old and you don’t have any sexual experience, you have at least forty to fifty years ahead of you to enjoy sexual pleasure; and if you are willing to wait, you can always get a life partner who is committed to you and your marriage.

"It is easier said than done", so goes the proverb, and it is true. Some people understand the consequences of premarital sex very well but, when specific problems arise, they may get lost and not be able to figure out what is the best way to proceed.

The question is whether premarital sex is a manifestation of social progress or a price we have to pay for social progress. This question sounds like a problem for philosophers but it deserves careful consideration by all of us.
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Cai Shangyao(蔡尚耀)  is a well-known columnist and writer writing in both Chinese and English

2.Why wait for sex?
–A Look at the Lies We Face

Alice Fryling(艾丽丝·福来临)

History teaches us that people believe what they want to hear. Lies can sound so true when people are starving for truth. Even whole societies will feast on their promises . The Inquisition was based on the lie that some people could force other people to change their religious beliefs. American colonists believed the lie that people of one race had the right to own, buy and sell people of another race. More recently, hundreds of thousands of people believed Hitler’s lie that the Jewish race should be eradicated. Most of us can hardly imagine that anyone could have believed these lies. And yet we swallow other lies all the time.

Our society is starving for intimacy. And many of the lies we believe in our culture have to do with our hunger for relationship. We want acceptance, loving relationships and deep intimacy, and yet we believe the lie that sex will satisfy our hunger. It’s true that we are profoundly sexual beings, but it’s time to examine some of the lies we feast on: the lie that premarital sex is one of our unalienable rights, the lie that sexual intercourse is the route to intimacy, and the lie that premarital abstinence is obsolete at best and repressive at worst. These are all lies.

We have bought into these lies because we are a starving people. We are people who long to be loved, touched and understood in a world of declining family ties and epidemic dysfunction. Our desires are certainly not new; they are as old as humanity. The difference in our world today is that people are trying to fulfill these longings in strange ways: through machines (TV’s, CD players, and computers), through sports, material possessions, institutions and sex. Especially through sex. "Try it just once and you’ll be fulfilled." "Go for variety and you won’t be bored." "A life without sex is a life without belonging." Sexual experience has become a personal right, a need to be met and a norm to be accepted.

The tragedy of all this is that people are dying of emotional starvation, and they are looking for food in the wrong places. I would like to identify seven lies that our society is making about sex. The truth is that sex outside of marriage is not all it’s cracked up to be. There is no pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.

Lie #1: Sex creates intimacy. Genital sex is an expression of intimacy, not the means to intimacy. True intimacy springs from verbal and emotional communion. True intimacy is built on a commitment to honesty, love and freedom. True intimacy is not primarily a sexual encounter. Intimacy, in fact, has almost nothing to do with our sex organs. A prostitute may expose her body, but her relationships are hardly intimate.

Premarital sexual intercourse may actually hinder intimacy. Donald Joy writes that indulging in sexual intercourse prematurely short-circuits the emotional bonding process. He cites one study of 100,000 women that links early sexual experience with dissatisfaction in their present marriages, unhappiness with the level of sexual intimacy and a prevalence of low self-esteem (Christianity Today, October 3, 1986).

Lie #2: Starting sex early in a relationship will help you get to know one another and become better partners later. Sexual intercourse and extensive physical exploration early in a relationship do not reflect sex at its best. Of course there is sensual pleasure for those who engage in premarital sexual experiences, but they are missing out on the best route to marital happiness. Sex is an art that is learned best in the safe environment of marriage. I met with one student whose disappointment with her sexual encounters prompted her to overcome great embarrassment and ask me point blank: "Is sex in marriage as bad as it is outside of marriage?" She had arrived at the end of the rainbow, looking for the promised pot of gold, and she had found only disillusionment.

When unrestrained physical intimacy dominates a relationship, other parts of that relationship suffer. In healthy marriages, sex takes its natural place beside the intellectual, emotional and practical aspects of life. Married couples spend less time in bed than they do in conversation, in problem solving, and in emotional communion. The lie that premarital sex prepares you for marriage denies the fact that sexual happiness grows only through years of intimate relationship. The height of sexual pleasure, psychologists tell us, usually comes after ten to twenty years of marriage.

Good sex begins in the head. It depends on intimate knowledge of your partner. The Bible uses the words "to know" to describe sexual intercourse: "Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived . . ." (Genesis 4:1, NRSV). This choice of words elevates human sexuality from mere animal sex where availability is the main requirement to a full, intimate expression of love and commitment.

Lie #3: Casual sex without long-term commitments is both fun and freeing. Those who settle for short-term sexual relationships are settling for second-best sex. Journalist George Leonard observed that "casual recreational sex is hardly a feast-not even a good hearty sandwich. It is a diet of fast food served in plastic containers. Life’s feast is available only to those who are willing and able to engage life on a deeply personal level, giving all, holding back nothing." (Quoted by Joyce Huggett in Dating, Sex & Friendship, InterVarsity Press, p. 82.) For a woman, particularly, sex can reveal hidden fears and lack of trust. Good sex-which can be a healing agent over time-requires trust, trust which grows best in the context of the life-long commitment of marriage.

Lie #4: If you don’t express your sexuality freely, you must be repressed, sick or prudish. This can be a very intimidating lie, but the facts are that premature sex is bad for your emotional, physical and cultural health. The February 1991 issue of the journal Pediatrics reported that researchers at Indiana University found that sexually active teenagers are more likely to be prone to alcohol abuse and illegal drugs, and are more likely to have trouble in school. They reported that sexually active girls were more likely to be depressed, have low self esteem, feel lonely or attempt suicide.

Premarital sex may be bad for the emotional health of your future marriage. It lays the groundwork for comparisons, suspicions, and mistrust. "Am I as attractive (or as sexually stimulating) as his last partner?" "If she didn’t wait for me before we were married, why do I think she will settle for only me now?" "If someone better comes along, will I be left in the dust?"

Premarital sex is also bad for your physical health. Sexually transmitted diseases have received abundant attention from the press in recent years. Equal time has not been given to the opinion held by many medical experts that extra-marital abstinence is without a doubt the best way to avoid these diseases.

Sexual promiscuity is even bad for the health of our civilization. One study of more than eighty societies ranging in development from ancient to primitive to more modern revealed "an unvarying correlation between the degree of sexual restraints and the rate of social progress. Cultures that were more sexually permissive displayed less cultural energy, creativity, intellectual development and individualism, and a slower general cultural ascent . . ." (Reo Christenson, Christianity Today, February 19, 1982). Why, then, do we-as individuals and as a society-trade our energy, creativity, and intellectual development for momentary sexual pleasure? Because we have believed a lie.

Lie #5: Sex is freedom. Premarital sex is hardly an expression of freedom. Young people who become sexually active in response to peer pressure to be sophisticated and independent are actually becoming victims of current public opinion. No one is really free who engages in any activity in order to impress the majority.

Lie #6: Surely God understands that this is the twentieth century! How can what society says is okay be wrong? Scripture is clear that sexual intercourse outside the bonds of marriage is sin. Even if we had no other evidence, God’s word makes it clear that intercourse outside of marriage is not only outside our best interests, but it is also wrong. In his seventh commandment to the Israelites, God said "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). Jesus was even more inclusive when he described the evil within men’s hearts, including "sexual immorality" (Mark 7:21). Paul exhorted the Corinthians to "flee from sexual immorality" (see 1 Corinthians 6:18-19), and to the Ephesians he said that there must not be among them even a "hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people" (Ephesians 5:3). The writer of the letter to the Hebrews wrote, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Hebrews 13:4).

I do not believe that God gave these rules because he is a spoil-sport. Quite the contrary. Because God created us and because he loves us more than we can ever know, he has told us how to have the best, most satisfying sexual experiences: in marriage. That’s where sex is fun! Premarital abstinence and marital faithfulness is not a denial of my rights or my pleasures. It is choosing to experience sex in the healthiest, happiest context.

Lie #7: Why wait? How can you know for sure that waiting is best? Maybe sex isn’t worth the wait. Maybe it’s best to take the opportunities you have now. Obedience to God’s commands includes trusting him to know what’s best for us-even if we don’t fully grasp his reasons. The choices we make in our sexual behavior require faith in truths we may not understand. God required the Israelites to obey dozens of laws, many of which were good for their health even though they didn’t know why. Look at one example in Leviticus 15:2, 9-10: "When any man has a bodily discharge, the discharge is unclean. . . . Everything the man sits on while riding will be unclean." Thousands of years ago, no one had heard of germs and micro-organisms that carry disease. If some young man had complained about God’s unfairness in not letting him ride the same horse as his friend who had the discharge, could he have understood if God had explained venereal disease to him in scientific detail? Not likely. Likewise, there are spiritual, emotional, physical and psychological reasons why God has limited sexual intercourse to the marriage bed. Some of those reasons are beyond our understanding. We simply must believe that God knows what is best for us.

When we live within the confines of God’s limits, we live by faith in a loving God. Sexual purity is, in the final analysis, an expression of our confidence in God’s goodness, an indication of our trust in Jesus. "You are my friends," Jesus said, "if you do what I command" (John 15:14). "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). Living by faith means applying this definition of faith to the situation at hand. We exercise faith and obedience, not because of what we know, but because of the person we love, Jesus himself. The truth that sex is best within the context of marriage cannot be proven ahead of time. But we can learn from those who have already made their choices. I asked my friend Liz, a psychotherapist, "How often do you see clients who wish they had not explored their sexuality so much before marriage?" "Oh, very often," she answered. Then I asked, "And how often do you have clients who wish they had gone further in physical intimacy before marriage?" Her eyes widened, and she looked at me with surprise as she answered emphatically, "Never!" This is one of life’s great faith issues.

If you decide to wait, it will take great courage and strength. If you decide not to wait, you will never know what you missed. You cannot have it both ways. No one can prove that premarital abstinence works. I believe that medical, psychological, and sociological evidence strongly supports the position that sex outside of marriage is not good for us. But in the final analysis, it is an issue of faith. For Christian men and women at the end of the twentieth century, the choices we make in our sexual behavior may be one of the main ways God calls us to believe. Do we dare to be different? Do we dare to believe the truth of God’s Word even though it contradicts most of the lies surrounding us? I believe that God is calling us to this kind of radical faith. 
——————————————————————————–
Alice Fryling(艾丽丝·福来临) is a speaker and author living in Madison, Wisconsin. Her husband, Bob, directs InterVarsity’s Campus Division, and her two daughters attend college.

 

2006年08月09日

婚姻物语–英文里的中国婚姻

  1.THE CHINESE WOMAN
by  Ku Hungming(辜鸿铭)

……
There are in every legal marriage in China six ceremonies : first, asking for the name, i.e., formal proposal; second receiving the silk presents, i. e., betrothal: third fixing the day of marriage; fourth fetching the bride; fifth pouring libation before the wild goose, i.e., plighting troth, so-called because the wild goose is supposed to be most faithful in connubial love; sixth _ temple presentation. Of these six ceremonies, the last two are the most important, I shall therefore here describe them more in detail.

The fourth ceremony, fetching the bride at the present day, is, except in my province Fukien where we keep up the old customs, _ generally dispensed with, as it entails too much trouble and expense to the bride’s family. The bride now, instead of being fetched, is sent to the bride-groom’s house. When the bride arrives there, the bridegroom receives her at the gate and himself opens the door of the bridal chair and leads her to the hall of the house. There the bride and bride-groom worship Heaven and Earth, i. e. to say, they fall on their kness with their faces turned to the door of the hall with a table carrying two red burning candles before the open sky and then the hushand pours libations on the ground, _in presence of the pair of wild geese (if wild goose cannot be had, an ordinary goose) which the bride has brought with her. This is the ceremony called Tien yen pouring libation before the wild goose; plighting of troth between man and woman_he vowing to be true to her, and she, to be true to him, just as faithful as the pair of wild geese they see before them. From this moment, they become, so to speak, natural sweetheart husband and sweetheart wife, bound only by the moral law, the Law of the Gentleman, _the word of honour which they have given to each other, but not yet by the Civic Law. This ceremony therefore may be called the moral or Religious marriage.

After this comes the ceremony called the mutual salutation between bride and bride-groom. The bride standing on the right side of the hall first goes on her knees before the bride-groom, _he going on his knees to her at the same time. Then they change places. The bride-groom now standing where the bride stood, goes on his knees to her, _ she returning the salute just as he did. Now this ceremony of chiao pai mutual salutation, I wish to point out here, proves beyond all doubt that in China there is perfect equality between man and woman, between husband and wife.

As I said before, the ceremony of plighting troth may be called the moral or Religious marriage as distinguished from what may called the civic marriage, which comes three days after._In the moral or religious marriage, the man and woman becomes husband and wife before the moral Law_before God. The contract so far is solely between the man and woman. The State or, as in China, the Family takes the place of the State in all social and civic life_the State acting only as Court of appeal, _the Family takes no cognisance of the marriage or contract between the man and woman here in this, what I have called the moral or religious marriage. In fact on this first day and until the civic marriage takes place on the third day of the marriage, the bride is not only not introduced, but also not allowed to see or be seen by the members of the bride-groom’s family.

Thus for two days and two nights the bride-groom and the bride in China live, so to speak not as legal, but, as sweetheart-husband and sweetheart-wife . On the third day, _then comes the last ceremony in the Chinese marriage_the Miao-chien, the temple presentation or civic marriage. I say, on the third day because that is the rule deriguer as laid down in the Book of Rites. But now to save trouble and expense, it is generally performed on the day after. This ceremony_the temple presentation, takes place, when the ancestral temple of the family clan is nearby, _of course in the ancestral temple. But for people living in towns and cities where there is no ancestral temple of the family clan nearby, the ceremony is performed before the miniature ancestral chapel or shrine_which is in the house of every respectable family, even the poorest in China. This ancestral temple, chapel or shrine with a tablet or red piece of paper on the wall, as I have said elsewhere, is the church of the State Religion of Confucius in China corresponding to the church of the Church Religion in Christian countries.

This ceremony_the temple presentation begins by the father of the bridegroom or failing him, the nearest senior member of the family, going on his knees before the ancestral tablet_thus announcing to the spirits of the dead ancestors that a young member of the family has now brought a wife home into the family. Then the bridegroom and bride one after the other, each goes on his and her knees before the same ancestral tablet. From this moment the man and woman becomes husband and wife, _not only before the moral Law or God, _ but before the Family, before the State, before Civic Law. I have therefore called this ceremony of miao chien, temple presentation in the Chinese marriage, _the civic or civil marriage. Before this civic or civil marriage, the woman, the bride, _according to the Book of Rites,_is not a legal wife-When the bride happens to die before this ceremony of temple presentation, she is not allowed_according to the Book of Rites_to be buried in the family burying ground of her husband and her memorial tablet is not put up in the ancestral temple of his family clan.

Thus we see the contract in a legal civic marriage in China is not between the woman and the man. The contract is between the woman

and the family of her husband. She is not married to him, but into his family. In the visiting card of a Chinese lady in China, she does not write, for instance, Mrs. Ku Hung-ming, but literally "Miss Feng, gone to the home of the family (originally from) Tsin An adjusts her dress." _The contract of marriage in China being between the woman and the family of her husband,_the husband and wife can neither of them repudiate the contract without the consent of the husband’s family. This I want to point out here, is the fundamental difference between a marriage in China and a marriage in Europe and America. The marriage in Europe and America, _is what we Chinese _would call a sweet-heart marriage, a marriage, bound solely by love between the individual man and the individual woman. But in China the marriage is, as I have said, a civic marriage, a contract not between the woman and the man, but between the woman and the family of her husband, _in which she has obligations not only to him, but also to his family, and through the family, to society, _to the social or civic order; in fact, to the State. Finally let me point out here that it is this civic conception of marriage which gives solidarity and stability to the family, to the social or civic order, to the State in China.

2.THE ENJOYMENT OF THE HOME
by Lin Yutang(林语堂)

……
All the other achievements of civilization are then seen as merely means toward the end of turning out better husbands and wives and fathers and mothers.
Insofar as ninety per cent of mankind are husbands or wives and one hundred per cent have parents, and insofar as marriage and the home constitute the most intimate side of a man’s life, it is clear that that civilization which produces better wives and husbands and fathers and mothers makes for a happier human life, and is therefore a higher type of civilization.
The quality of men and women we live with is much more important than the work they achieve, and every girl ought to be grateful for any civilization that can present her with a better husband. Such things are relative, and ideal husbands and wives and fathers and mothers are to be found in every age and country.
Probably the best way to get good husbands and wives is by eugenics, which saves us a great deal of trouble in educatingwives and husbands. On the other hand, a civilization which ignores the home or relegates it to a minor position is apt to turn out poorer products.
I realize that I am getting biological. I am biological, and so is every man and woman.There is no use saying, "Let’s get biological, " because we are so whether we like it or not.
Every man is happy biologically, angry biologically, or ambitious biologically, or religious or peace-loving biologically, although he may not be aware of it.
As biological beings, there is no getting around the fact that we are all born as babies, suck at mothers’ breasts and marry and give birth to other babies. Every man is born of a woman, and almost every man lives with a woman through life and is the father of boys and girls, and every woman is also born of a woman, and almost every woman lives with a man for life and gives birth to other children.
Some have refused to become parents, like trees and flowers that refuse to produce seeds to perpetuate their own species, but no man can refuse to have parents, as no tree can refuse to grow from a seed.
So then we come to the basic fact that the most primary relationship in life is the relationship between man and woman and the child, and no philosophy of life can be called adequate or even called philosophy at all unless it deals with this essential relationship.
But the mere relationship between man and woman is not sufficient; the relationship must result in babies, or it is incomplete. No civilization has any excuse for depriving a man or woman of his or her right to have babies. I understand that this is a very real problem at present, that there are many men and women today who don’t get married, and many others who, after getting married, refuse to have babies for one reason or another.
My point of view is, whatever the reason may be, the fact of a man or woman leaving this world without children is the greatest crime he or she can commit against himself or herself.
If sterility is due to the body, then the body is degenerate and wrong; if it is due to the high cost of living, then the high cost of living is wrong; if it is due to a too high standard of marriage, then the too high standard of marriage is wrong; if it is due to a false philosophy of individualism,then the philosophy of individualism is wrong; and if it is due to the entire fabric of social system, then the entire fabric of social system is wrong.
 Perhaps men and women of the twenty-first century will come to see this truth when we have made better progress in the science of biology and there is a better understanding of ourselves as biological beings. I am quite convinced that the twentieth century will be the century of biology, as the nineteenth century was the century of comparative natural science.
When man comes to understand himself better and realizes the futility of warring against his own instincts, with which nature has endowed him, man will appreciate more such simple wisdom. We see already signs of this growing biological and medical wisdom, when we hear the Swiss psychologist Jung advise his rich women patients to go back to the country and raise chickens, children and carrots. The trouble with rich women patients is that they are not functioning biologically, or their biological functioning is disgracefully low-grade.
Man has not learned to live with woman, since history began. The strange thing is that no man has lived without a woman, in spite of that fact. No man can speak disparagingly of woman if he realizes that no one has come into this world without a mother.
From birth to death, he is surrounded by women, as mother, wife and daughters,and even if he does not marry, he has still to depend on his sister, like William Wordsworth, or depend on his housekeeper, like Herbert Spencer. No fine philosophy is going to save his soul if he cannot establish a proper relationship with his mother or his sister, and if he cannot establish a proper relationship even with his housekeeper, may God have pity on him!
There is a certain pathos in a man who has not arrived at a proper relationship with woman and who has led a warped moral life, like Oscar Wilde, who still exclaims, "Man cannot live with a woman, nor can he live without her! "
So that it seems human wisdom has not progressed an inch farther between the writer of a Hindu tale and Oscar Wilde at the beginning of the twentieth century, for that writer of the Hindu tale of the Creation expressed essentially the same thought four thousand years ago.
According to this story of the Creation, in creating woman. God took of the beauty of the flowers,the song of the birds, the colors of the rainbow, the kiss of the breeze, the laughter of the waves, the gentleness of the lamb, the cunning of the fox, the waywardness of the clouds and the fickleness of the shower, and wove them into a female being and presented her to man as his wife.

3.Marriage is not for sale
By Cai Shangyao (蔡尚耀)

I remember watching an opera known as "Tianxian Pei" (A Heavenly Marriage) when I was a boy, which told the story of Dong Yong, a poor young man who had to sell himself into indentured servitude to raise money for his father’s burial.

Qi Xiannu, a fairy maiden and seventh daughter of the Jade Emperor, saw the humiliating wretchedness of Dong Yong’s life as a slave. Her sympathy was awakened. In defiance of the stern laws and rules of heaven she descended into the world and became Dong Yong’s wife.

But when the Jade Emperor learned that his seventh daughter had surreptitiously left heaven for earth, he was wrathful and he contrived to snatch her away from her husband. Dong Yong and Qi Xiannu never saw one another again.

As I grew up I came to realize that this was only a legend and could never happen in real life. As for those stories of romance between scholars in poverty and beautiful girls from rich and illustrious families, they could not be real in the sense of actually happening.

Even the dowager Lady Jia in the "Dream of Red Mansions" responded with jeers and mockery to this kind of romantic fantasy: "Among the writers of these stories, there are some, who begrudge people’s wealth and honours, or possibly those, who having solicited a favour (of the wealthy and honourable), and not obtained the object, upon which their wishes were set, have fabricated lies in order to disparage people.

There is, moreover, a certain class of persons who become so corrupted by the perusal of such tales that they are not satisfied until they themselves pounce upon some nice pretty girl. Hence is it that, for fun’s sake, they devise all these yarns."

I had thought that everyone was as pragmatic and realistic as Lady Jia but actually such is not the case. Even now, there are people who are dreaming of meeting a fairy in the same way as Dong Yong.

For example, few months ago a junior at a university in Chengdu known by the alias of "Wang Jun" said he wanted to be married to a rich women if she would help him pay his way through school. Take another example. Chen Cheng, a university student in Beijing put an ad in the paper for a wife, in which he said his wife-to-be would have to pay for his studies abroad. Chen said that he didn’t want his child to live a desperate life on the bottom rung of society as he had done for he knew how hard it could be to seek a livelihood.

We have to say that these men have the right to make their own choice. The question is whether marriage should be turned into an auction item to be sold to the highest bidder.

Furthermore, even if there are some people who want to put their marriages up for auction, there have to be buyers. Even if there are buyers, the success of this kind of deal depends much on the qualities of the goods on sale. If the auction item is not so good, it won’t be sold at a decent price, for commodities are exchanged at equal prices.

Frankly speaking, there is nothing wrong with the idea of marrying a rich person. If it’s natural for Cinderella to marry her prince, then a poor boy who wants to marry a rich woman should not be accused of behaving like a mangy dog bent upon eating the flesh of a heavenly goose. If fate lets a poor lad and a rich lady chance upon each other, make each other’s acquaintance and recognize that they are right for each other before they get married, that would indeed make for a happy ending.

 

2006年07月20日

关于郭敬明剽窃案的英文报道及评论
近来郭敬明剽窃事件已经成为一大热门话题。本人上网查找了有关这方面的英文报道和评论,在这里把它贡献给广大网友作为学习英文的参考资料。

首先看深圳日报(Shenzhen Daily)的有关报道:
Guo Jingming’s novel ruled plagiarism
 2006 – 05 – 25 14:25    sznews
 
    THE final judgment in the plagiarism case of hot young writer Guo Jingming came Monday. Plots and passages in Guo’s second novel, “Never Flowers in Never Dream,” were ruled plagiarism of novelist Zhuang Yu’s “In and Out of the Circle” by the Beijing People’s Supreme Court.
    The 23-year-old college student was ordered to pay compensation of 210,000 yuan (US$26,185) to Zhuang. Guo and the book’s publisher, Chunfeng Publishing House of Literature & Art, are required to publish an apology in the China Youth Daily within a week and end all distribution of the book by Beijing Xidan Bookstore.
Guo first achieved overnight success in 2003 with his novel “City of Fantasy.” More than 1.5 million copies of the book were sold in one year. The student novelist, one of the top “’80s-generation” writers, was ranked 100th on the 2004 Forbes Chinese Celebrity list, making him the most commercially successful young writer in China.
Guo’s second novel, published in November 2003, tells the sad but beautiful story of friendship and love among several young people. The novel greatly broadened Guo’s popularity. The lesser known writer Zhuang Yu found that the novel contains 12 similar plots and 57 sentences straight out of her novel “In and Out of the Circle,” published in November 2002.
Zhuang brought the case to court, suing Guo, the Chunfeng Publishing House of Literature & Art, and Beijing Xidan Bookstore, asking for compensation of 500,000 yuan.
After the first judgment, Guo appealed to the Beijing People’s Supreme Court and defended himself by claiming that “Never Flowers in Never Dream” has no substantive similarity to Zhuang’s novel.
Guo lost the case and sales for Zhuang’s book have increased.(Wang Wenbo)
(Source: Shenzhen Daily) Editor: Jenny 

下面是中国日报(China Daily)较早的报道:
Popular young writer loses plagiarism lawsuit
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-08 08:44

A well-known young writer, Guo Jingming, and his publishing company were ordered to pay 200,000 yuan (US$24,000) to another writer for copyright infringement connected to a bestseller published in 2002.
The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People’s Court also ordered 21-year-old Guo and the Chunfeng Literature and Art Publishing House to stop publishing "Never Flowers in Never Dreams," a story of entangled romance between a few young people, according to the judgment passed over the weekend.
The court also ordered both Guo and the publishing company to publish an apology in the China Youth Daily.
Another defendant, the Beijing Books Building was also ordered to stop selling the book.
The plaintiff Zhuang Yu, 25, filed suit last December, saying she finished the novel in 2002.
The China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Press published the plaintiff’s novel in February last year.
"But later I found that Guo’s book published in November last year by the Chunfeng Press plagiarized my idea, story, main plots, major characters and language," the plaintiff said.
She even said Guo’s book copied more than 100 parts of her book.
Zhuang called for compensation of 500,000 yuan (US$60,000).
The court sided with Zhuang.
"Twelve major plot elements in Guo’s book are the same or similar to Zhuang’s. Meanwhile, a total of 57 paragraphs in Guo’s are the same or similar to Zhuang’s," the judgment said.
The court ruled that as Zhuang’s book was published earlier than Guo’s, the defendant violated the plaintiff’s copyright.
But the court did not support the plaintiff’s claim that Guo violated her idea, language and characteristics of major characters in the book.
"There is no regulation over protection of conception in the Copyright Law," the judgment said.
"Meanwhile, language should not be monopolized by a certain person," said the judgment.
Characteristics of characters, according to the law, are also not protected, the judgment said.
Guo, a university student in Shanghai, disagreed with Zhuang’s accusation of copyright infringement.
Guo’s book has sold more than 1 million copies, sources said.

还有一篇英文评论,是蔡尚耀写的,发表于2004年4月22 日的《上海英文星报》,后来《中国日报》和亚洲新闻联盟(Asian News Network)都作了转载。文章写得挺好的,可说是文采斐然,而且观点也很有预见性。在此一并提供给大家。
Youth-asset or liability?

By Cai Shangyao

Shanghai Star. 2004-04-22
A few years ago there were "beauty writers" who might be considered the sisters of "boy writers". These beauty writers made their names known through commercial operations. This tactic was easily adapted to practical application by a multitude of these boy writers who were born in the early 1980s.
They were more than willing to juggle their way to stardom in the same way showbiz celebrities had done. They gave much attention to their outward appearance. Han Han was handsome-looking, whereas Guo Jingming was looking lovely. The boy writers have gathered quite a following of fans, and there are websites devoted to them. The juvenile writers appear to be as attractive as showbiz stars.
Meanwhile, they set out to create sensational stories to catch people’s attention. Sun Rui, author of "Grassy Years", offered a 100,000-yuan reward to challenge Han Han and Guo Jingming to a contest, and Chunshu wore a girdle while signing copies of his books. All such events were of the same character as those "love affairs" among showbiz stars. That is, they are designed to attract public attention.
Serious doubts have been raised about the literary quality of the juvenile writers’ works ever since Yu Xiu published her book "Flowery Season, Rainy Season" which established the author’s reputation. The book was a blockbuster, selling 1 million copies. For this Yu Xiu was seen as the first person to write youth literature in our time. But some critics responded with jeers, and even summed up the book in this way: "In crude language the book merely opens a window onto the life of high school students, and is completely lacking in aesthetic vision …"
Other critics criticized Yu Xiu for lacking literary talent or merit when she launched her second book.
Admittedly, Han Han owes his fame largely to the media ballyhoo, but he’s fed and clothed by the readers who have bought his books. Do the readers really buy his books because they admire him for his immense talent? Definitely not. Over the past two years Han Han’s books have received lower and lower ratings from the critics. He seems to be going downhill. "The Poison", a new book he launched not long ago, was dismissed sarcastically as a patchwork of several of his previous books.
Then came Guo Jingming, dubbed "Han Han the Second". Seeing that his book "Fantasy City" did well in the market, the publishers availed themselves of this advantage to promote his book series such as "How Many Flowers Fall in Dreams". Tragically, there was a hue and cry over a plagiarism charge against the book.
Many people are worried about the popularity of the juvenile writers, and with reason. What is worrisome is that a boy still wet behind the ears would indulge in talking twaddle about violence and have it described in a best-selling book in an artistic fashion. Even more worrisome for many educators is that a girl could talk freely about sex well before she knows anything about it and then gives the most minute description of it in a book widely read by high school students.
What is most noteworthy is that the ugly and unethical style of the juvenile writers, whose talent has yet to be put to test in the course of history, has already become a spiritual role model to many boys and girls who are eager for quick success and fame.
The juvenile writers’ readers are school students. No one knows who will neutralize the undesirable influence of the juvenile writers and their books. To extol with enthusiastic fervor these juvenile writers, who are still in their growing stages, is neither good for the writers themselves, nor is it good for the students who are reading or going to read their books.

2006年06月16日

汉语水平下降是英语害的?

应试教育惹的祸 质疑英语挤压汉语空间说法

近日,“全球化背景下我国教育、语言文化政策研讨会”在京举行。面对国内日益增长的批判“全民学英语”、指称英语已严重挤压汉语空间的情绪,有学者称,并非英语挤压汉语空间,而是应试教育冲击了英语教育和汉语教育。

一段时间以来,我国全民学英语的现象引起了社会各界的高度关注。教育界、学界和社会达成了一定程度的共识,认为青少年以相当多的时间和精力学习英语而效率低下,优秀外语人才奇缺,并在一定程度上造成了中文教育和人文教育的滑坡,英语在升学考试以及毕业、就业、职称评聘中的“一票否决”制备受质疑。然而,中国社会科学院近代史所研究员雷颐认为,不应该简单把英语和汉语对立起来,“也许不是英语挤压汉语,而是我们自己的教法的问题”,“反对英语工具论。如果只是把英语当成工具,而非吸收其中的文化和人文价值,这样的英语教学是彻底失败的”。

对于国内一片“打压”英语的呼声,雷颐表示,“要封闭才能保护”的想法是不科学的。

清华大学教授、英语系原副主任孙复初则强调,并非是英语挤占了汉语空间,而是应试内容冲击了英语教育和汉语教育。长期在教学一线的孙复初告诉记者,现在的大学生不愿意看英美文学,不愿意进行戏剧欣赏,整天忙于背词汇、做练习题,而这些都不是英语教学的内容。他认为,标准化的测试完全影响了英语教育和汉语教育,学生们完全是“为了应付下一个考试而学习”;英语之所以变成了学习时间最长、花费最多、而效率最低的学科,矛头应该直指由垄断加暴利形成的“考试产业”。

“应该是理性的反思,而不是在媒体上所看到的煽情。”北京师范大学比较教育研究所所长项贤明表示。
(中国网 | 时间:2006 年6 月1 日 | 文章来源:光明日报 )

相关言论:
一方言论:
1.俞敏洪:别拿英语当替罪羊

2006-06-12 09:32:45

大 中 小
  前段时间,美国参议院推出一项法案,将英语定为美国“国语”。不少国人惊呼,在美国,英语尚且受到外来语的冲击,并已做出了相关的保护措施,中国也需要有所效仿,采取相关措施保护汉语。这样,英语自然成了保护汉语的“批斗”目标。

  其实,这根本是一种错觉,美国人并不是担心英语的语言霸权受到威胁。自建国之初,美国即是移民国家,各州语言虽有很大差异,但英语都占据主导地位。美国将英语定为国语,是政治原因(比如如何更好地治理国家)和社会原因(比如各州居民如何和睦相处)所导致,并不担心英语受到外来语冲击。因此,千万别把美国确定国语一事,设想为美国在抑制外来语,更不可将中美两国的语言状况进行比较。

  中国历经5000多年的历史,汉语在中国社会文化中一直占统治地位,经受了各种外来语的冲击。我们承认,当前的汉语是在发生某些变化,比如传统汉语的消失、外来词的增多等。但这并不能表明汉语在走向衰弱、处于颓势。事实上,社会在进步,语言永远都随着时间在变化,当前美国人说的英语与中世纪时的英语也有很大区别。汉语当前的状态与汉语本身的特点是有关系的。汉语是内循环型的语言,只有中国及部分海外华人在使用,这是几百年来的事实,并不是当前所谓“英语冲击”的结果。

  英语的兴盛并不会影响汉语的流传。我从来没有听说过,哪个中国人学了英语就把汉语忘了。英语和汉语学习本身是相辅相成的,并不存在零和关系。事实上,往往是那些英语好的中国人,其汉语也一样非常不错。许多学界大师,比如辜鸿铭、钱钟书等,其中西语言融会贯通之功,让所有人都叹为观止。当前中国人感叹国人汉语水平低,但这是多年来中国语文的教育制度所致,与学英语无关。

  中国发展是否可以摆脱学习英语?我想是摆脱不了的。中外交流日益加剧,汉语较之英语难学,说英语的国家数量有数十个,中国不可能要求所有国家都用汉语与中国人交流,学习英语至少在当前是中国人的必然选择。另外,在国际社会,大多数文献资料都是用英语写成,不学英语,又怎能得到一手的资料,又怎能最快速度知道国外信息呢?因此,学英语,于国家,则有助于融入国际社会;于个人,则有助于提高个人素质,在当前社会中,会英语的竞争力明显比不会英语的强,这是公认的社会现实。

  有人会说,当前近3亿中国人在学英语,英语已成了产业,耗费了大量中国人的精力、财力和物力,可悲的是,中国花了那么高的成本,英语还是没有学好。的确,这些也是事实。但是,要明白,那么高的成本并不在于学英语本身,而在于教英语的方式。英语是音频语言,先学会听说,然后再去读写,但多年来中国的英语教学方式却是先去背单词,再学阅读,最后才是听说,结果是事倍功半,到最后多是“哑巴英语”、“聋子英语”。

  因此,实在没有必要把英语当作替罪羊,把汉语、中国文化乃至诸多社会问题都归究于英语学习上。现在最大的问题是,要懂得语言现象背后的深层道理,即国家实力决定语言优势。

  英语当前的语言优势与诸多英语国家的国力强势有关,也正是这条定律,我们应看出,随着中国的崛起,汉语的兴盛也只是时间而已。现在越来越多的外国人在学汉语,与我交流的许多外国人都要求使用汉语,而非英语。我前段时间去美国,发现美国大街上的告示牌、各大招牌等中文字样明显比前几年多了,这与上世纪80年代日语在美国的流行有相似之处。不同的是,中国的崛起是持续性的,这决定了50年或100年以后,在世界上,英语和汉语将极有可能平分秋色。

  因此,如果当前无端地把英语当作替罪羊,加以阻止,显然是错误的,无助于国家的发展,最终也无助于汉语及其文化的复兴。可贵的是,当前中国人学英语已从1980年代的非理性、一味只为了出国,逐渐地趋于理性,既不会因为“海归”人员的吸引力有所下降或者所谓的“复兴汉语”而放弃学英语,也不会因为会英语是时尚,仅学一点皮毛。这的确是中国人的幸事。

  (作者:俞敏洪,新东方教育科技集团董事长)

2.汉语保卫战论者可以休矣
蔡尚耀
中文很伟大。但是,如果因其伟大而排斥贬低其他语言,则是过犹不及,走向了极端了。
近年来,时常听到有人慨叹中文在中华大地上衰落,甚至有人认为中文在英文的冲击下已岌岌可危,故而需要进行“汉语保卫战”。
事实果真如此吗?细思之,实大谬不然也!
固然,许多中国人的中文水平不高,时常犯些用词不当、语法错误或文理不通的毛病。但是,应当看到,现代人语文水平的下降是个普通现象,不独在中国如此,在西方发达国家亦然。现代人不像古代人,可以把主要时间和精力花在语文学习上,现代社会竞争太激烈,现代人要学习的东西太多了,用于语文学习的时间自然就减少了,语文水平较之古人有所下降也在情理之中,无需大惊小怪。
有些人声称,许多中国人的英文比中文好。这纯属外行人的无稽之谈。事实上,只有少数天才如辜鸿铭、林语堂可以称得上英文和中文一样好,或者稍强于中文。如果我们的英文教育能够培养出许多像辜鸿铭、林语堂这样的人来,我们应该感到庆幸才对。不幸的是,事实并非如此。大多数中国人的英语还只是停留在课堂上,只能勉强应付中国式的英文考试,许多所谓英文好的中国人,他们只能在英文考试中拿高分,而他们实际的英文水平,连英语国家的三岁小孩都不如。
还有些人说英文将取代中文在中国的地位,这更是杞人忧天。请看一下事实吧:中国有不计其数的中文报刊杂志,而英文媒体则只有《CHINA DAILY》、《SHANGHAI DAILY》和《SHENZHEN DAILY》等区区几种。汉语的电台电视台铺天盖地,而全天候的英语频道则只有中央电视台的《CCTV 9》一家而已。英文媒体数量与中文媒体相比,连个零头都不到,简直不成比例。
有人会说,中国的报刊杂志、广播电视是受到管制的,所以不能出现许多的英文报刊杂志和电台电视台。但是,在同样的管制下,中文媒体蓬勃发展,一派繁荣景象。何以如此?需求使然也。如果也有对英文媒体的强烈需求,英文媒体照样会如雨后春笋般出现,而不是像现在这样的屈指可数。事实上,中国人对英文媒体的需要并不强,这体现在英文报刊杂志的发行量上。中国发行量最大的全国性英文报纸《CHINA DAILY》,其发行量与动辄几百万份的中文大报是无法相提并论的,而这其中还有许多是在华外国机构或外国人订阅的,真正由中国读者订阅的就更少了,这一方面说明中国高水平的英文读者不多,另一方面也说明了中文在中国的强势地位是无可置疑的。某些人大喊“英文将取代中文的地位”,实在是“天下本无事,庸人自扰之”。
追根溯源,中国人中文水平不佳与我们学校里的中文教育方法不当有关,这也是造成中文水平下降的一个主要原因。不算幼儿园和大学阶段,中国学生从小学到高中,学了十余年的中文。古人“十载寒窗”,也不过如此吧。结果仍然学得半通不通,不怪学生不用功,就只能怪学校里的中文教学不得法了。
当然,贬低中文的重要性是危险的,不仅因为中文是中国的官方语言,而且因为中文学习直接关系到中华文化的传承。中国人不仅不应该看轻中文,而且要多多注重中文学习。
提高中国人中文水平的最直接、最有效的办法就是改革学校里中文教学中的应试教育模式,提高学生对中文学习的兴趣,提升学生的实际中文水平。
至于英文学习,则要更注重实用性而不是考试成绩。现在的情况是,表面上非常重视英文,其实只是片面地重视英文考试,而且用的是中国式的英文考试方法。其结果是,中国人将大量的时间用于应付各种各样的英文考试,搞得怨声载道。而中国人的平均英文水平,在全世界排行中只有垫底的份。
以此观之,中国人是把太多的时间花在应付英语考试上而不是真正用在英语学习上。如果我们能够改进英语学习与考试方法,那么只要把现在用于应付英语考试的时间的三分之一花在英语学习上,而把其余三分之二的时间花在专业学习和提高中文水平上,照样能够取得比现在好得多的成效。
(作者蔡尚耀系知名中英双语作家)

另一方言论:
1、1、汉语向英语的投降书

伟大的、风靡中国、无所不能、英明神武的英语同志:
我怀着崇敬万分的心情递交这份投降书。为什么呢?不要问为什么,我在你面前是一个手下败将。我应该对你主生这样的景仰,我五千年来拜倒在你像豆芽一样的形体之下,我感到了你的强大、你的伟岸。我决定臣服于你,做一个二等语言,并时刻准备着退出世界语言的行列。
英语先生,英语主人,我决定投降了。因为在我们的较量中我已经没有资本了。曾几何时,中华民族(注意:不是大汉民族)以其丰厚的智慧创造了我-——汉语。我有优美的体形,因此有众多的书法家;我有深刻的寓意,因此有众多的诗人、文豪;我有深厚的历史,因此记载了中华民族的兴衷荣辱。所有的这些,都是我为之自豪太久的资本。但是我没有想到,在弹指间,我就被你彻底击垮了。我在一败涂地的情况下向你称臣投降,从此愿意做一个二等语言。如果需要的话,我做好做奴隶语言甚至 是退出语言行列的准备,真的,我已经准备好了。
我很失败,英语先生(虽然你形成的时间较晚,还是称你先生请允许我总结一下我的失败。没有别的意思,我就是想说说自己是怎么沦落的。
我们的广泛交流开始于清朝,中国逐渐沦亡的时代。但是很长的时间之内你并没有取代我的地位,更没有得到中国人的认同。直到二十世纪八十年代后期,我们的地位出现了微妙的变化。你开始在各种各样的“政策”引导下一次又一次地打击了我的软肋。我伤痕累累!
现在已经出现了这样的情况:中国的任何一种晋级考试(考初中、高中、大学、研究生、领导升迁、晋职、评职称、进大城市找工作。。。。。。)都需要深刻地体会你伟大的魅力。也就是说,只要是希望通过教育得到更好自下而上地位的中国人,都必须臣服于你,否则就没有机会。
英语先生,你知道我有多心疼吗?前些日子我知道了中国当前就是这么喜欢工你。在中国古代文学的研究生入学考试中,有专业非常优秀的学生因为英语没有达到伟大的英语分数线而被拒绝了其一生的追求。这就是你的魅力所在,一个国家的教育政策就给了你这么大的魅力。我真的不知道,中国古代文学的研究需要你做什么贡献。
中国教育界的爷爷、奶奶们用很时髦的话如“加强文化交流”、“与世界接轨”等把我彻底埋葬在你的威风里。中国的大学生需要在大学里学习2-4年的英语,并且要通过大学外语四级考试才能安全毕业,可是《大学语文》只需要进行象征性的学习就可以了。于是一直以我为骄傲的民族在高等教育领域里将我远远抛弃了,我就这么被冷落着。
英语先生,你知道你多么伟大吗?因为这个国家教育界的爷爷、奶奶们对你的热爱,一个大学生的四年将近有三分之一(文科的学生尤其如此)时间被用来光荣地学习你,而专来课和汉语却可以如此如此、一般一般。同样在一个开放的时代,我知道德国、法国等一些国家都禁止有外国语言对自己的学生进行教学,在澳大利亚、加拿大等国家,不少移民正在争夺自己母语的教育权。而在中国,我作国最本土的语言,在自己的国家被你侮辱了,逐渐降低为二类语言。
记得俄罗斯在沙皇时期曾经有上流社会的人视学习法语为一种高贵的行为,可是当拿破仑的士兵即将攻入莫斯科时,拿破仑发现了一个事实,俄罗斯的人民还有自己永不屈服的语言。可是现在的中国已经没有这样的形势了,中国已经不是上流社会的人以学习英语为高贵,而是有太多的人强奸了人民的意愿,把你强加到整个国民的身上,由此,我只能作为一种二等语言存在于我的祖国。
一切历史都是真实的,这样的故事还在中国继续。我没有能力阻止,因为我没有能力阻止人们通过你实现更高生活的欲望。请笑纳我的投降书。
顺致
崇高的敬意!
汉语

(匿名网友制作)

2、汉语,千万别来“最后一课”

  汉语,什么时候会遭遇“最后一课”?我这么想,也许是杞人忧天。我们这个年岁的人,只怕都知道“最后一课”的准确含义。1870年,普法战争中普鲁士的大炮,威逼法国沦陷区的小弗朗士们放弃了法语,改学德语。

  那么,谁会威逼我们改学别的语言?通过战争强权改变我们的文化,显然是不可能的。但是,我们的汉语是否就高枕无忧了呢?非也。君不见,在经济话语霸权下,我们的文化重心已经摇荡漂浮了,汉语的自信力,已经被消解许多;并且,我们还没有看到,一个能捍卫汉语的巨大影响力人物的出现。

  而这样的捍卫母语的重量级人物,却再次在《最后一课》的作者都德先生的祖国出现。近日有报道说,法国总统希拉克在出席欧盟首脑会议第一次工作会议期间“捍卫法语”。报道有这么一个细节:当听到法国人塞埃用英语演讲时,希拉克打断其讲话,并询问他为什么用英语发言。塞埃回答道:“我用英语发言,因为这是商务语言。”听到这句话,希拉克带领身边的法国外长和财政部长起身离席,以示抗议,直到塞埃发言完毕后才重新返回会议现场。结果,使得“各国首脑目瞪口呆”。

  站在一个局外人的立场,我居然就无比敬佩起这个法国总统了。我的想法很直接明了:希拉克,好样的!你用看似“不文明”的行动,捍卫了法兰西意志。

  我几乎是下意识地就联系起都德先生的名篇《最后一课》。现在的学生是否还读这课文,我不得而知。而我们这一代,是被它深深感动过的,虽然,我们曾被“意识形态化了”———这在某些具有开放意识的人看来,是相当没有境界的,但我,却是从那篇文章开始理解语言的。在老是逃课的小弗朗士眼里,给他们上最后一堂法语课的,是平时总是很严厉的韩麦尔先生;在我看来,给他们上最后一课的,其实是占领者普鲁士军队,是一个强大的军事帝国。

  语言问题,我一直耿耿于怀。韩麦尔先生在最后的一课中说,法语是世界上最美丽的语言。在中国人心里,汉语是世界上最美丽的语言吗?汉语已经被故作高深的专家教授们搞得难以亲近,大家几乎失去热爱下去的兴趣了。而外语,又被一些部门无端地给予无以复加的重视。在中国,外语已经不是单纯的语言交流工具了,而是职称、职务、学历的一个部分,一个具有决定作用的前提。在中国,恨不得所有职员、官员都精通英语就好,能在电视上、庆典上用英语开涮者,更是众人崇拜的偶像。出了国门,那就更不用说了,千方百计地还要用英语表现表现,显示其才高八斗。倘若这个希拉克式的人物是我们的某些领导,大约要对其部下能熟练运用商务英语发言而颔首的,而这个发言的官员,大约也要从此一飞冲天了。上有所好,下必甚焉。在中国,学习一门外语,已经形成了制度,比专业、比智慧、比学识本身更重要数倍。

  千篇一律地强调外语,已经被无数人诟病。但这样的事情,就是改变不了。说白了,这是某些团体、部门利益在作怪,一场职称考试下来,全国接近天文数字的银钱收入难道是进了国库?而这样的部门,其实只是打着改革开放的幌子,以“培养管理人才”为借口,不肯放掉嘴边的肥肉而已。我想,这些理由,比希拉克质问的、那个叫“塞埃”的法国人所回答的理由,充分不到什么地方去。因为英语考试的滥用,而造成的人才、时间和金钱的浪费,我不多说,已经有人说得够多了。我只想说,母语,是主权国家民族尊严、民众享受文化权利的一个象征。任何外语本身,只是一种工具,这个功能,不需要全社会掌握,而完全可以通过市场调节、通过学科需要刺激等途径得到满足。我们所需要的,是发展自己,壮大自己,使别人不得不想办法倾听我们、了解我们。所以,要敢于在任何场合使用汉语,并且,不自作多情地搞什么“同声翻译”。你看,同样是国际会议,人家希拉克就不吃这一套。

  显然,军事的霸权,不能给我们“最后一课”,而某些经济的霸权,并非不能。我们已经在经济霸权面前不能自已了,我们的文化开始大失水准。以语言为例,某高校汉语考试,居然让洋学生拔了头筹———这当然没有什么不好,只是反衬我们自己对母语开始不友好。我们全民学习、钻研、考试外国语言的劲头,只怕在世界上无出其右了。这让人汗颜和惊悸。只怕长此以往,有那么一天,我们就要自己给自己上“最后一课”了。

  知荣辱,看来并不那么简单啊。我期盼着有那么一股力量,能让全民外语热、考试热去势,能捍卫汉语,并支撑起属于汉语的世界。
(作者:何旭)

3、谁该为中国人汉语功底寒心
李甘林

韩国报纸《中央日报》2005年12月16日刊发题为“令人心寒的中国人的汉语功底”的评论文
章,其中谈到,近期在上海举行的翻译资格考试中,虽然参加该项考试者英语水平都很高,
但仍然出现了许多让人哭笑不得的答案。汉译英题目里有一道题要求将“富贵不能淫”译成
英文,有人将这句话译成了“Berich,butnotsexy(富贵但不能性感)”。(《环球时报》
2005年12月28日)

  真是咄咄怪事,中国人汉语功底差,干韩国人何事?你寒心又如何?其实,中国人不懂
汉语甚至闹出许多洋相的事例在咱们这里早就不是啥新闻了。我们的大学校长在高层论坛上
读白字,著名的行走文化大师著作等身,但也因常常闹出用典错误甚至白字而让人逗出“石
破天惊”的故事,国家级电台电视台主持人播音员“白话西游”早就被好事儿的网民们辑成
专集传为“佳话”。去年在宁波,《现代金报》搞调查,一名刚刚毕业的历史系大学生不知
道《三字经》的作者王应麟就是宁波人。最近,由于中央电视台一套、北京卫视等12家覆盖
面较广、影响较大的电视台部分从业人员汉语功底实在令人寒心,“语林啄木鸟”《咬文嚼
字》干脆宣布,将其作为“咬嚼”对象,专门进行挑错,免费培训。

  检讨国人汉语功底令人寒心的原因,实在不是三言两语可以概括的。虽然国家有汉语言
基础训练大纲,教育主管部门也有实施纲要,怎奈咱们的学生几乎从幼儿园起就不得不面临
着巨大的升学竞争压力。在升学就是一切、上好学校就是硬道理的大前提下,什么素质教
育,什么汉语言基础训练,什么唐诗宋词汉赋,统统得为应试教育,为升学、四六级英语让
路,学好汉语能管用,能当饭吗?

  正是在这种大范围、大面积的功利性环境氛围中,不要说小学、中学生汉语功底漏洞百
出,多少人大学毕业了,却对传统文化一问三不知,有的硕士研究生连论文都是别字连篇。
中学的文史课平时一般不上,等到中考时学校才安排突击补课;大学同样如此,文史类选修
课少人问津,研究文史的大学生就更如凤毛麟角。去年,在上海举行的一个学术交流会,组
织者竟然规定不准与会者说汉语,而必须用英语,这等怪事恐怕也只有在俺们这里才有吧?

  都说中国的传统文化源远流长博大精深,可近年来,随着国门大开、西学东渐,我们的
传统文化流失与我国的水土资源流失速度几成正比。更令人称奇的是,我们国内口口声声哭
着喊着要与世界文化接轨的人,根本不懂得中国国情和中国文化,反倒是真正实现了与世界
文化接轨的华人、华裔著名人士,如杨振宁、丁肇中等人依然心系中华传统文化,许多场合
对四书五经唐诗宋词等国学精粹都能娓娓道来、出口成章,这其中的意味真值得国人深思。

2006年02月05日

上海英文星报(SHANGHAI STAR)(自2006年起,SHANGHAI STAR已成为CHINA DAILY SHANGHAI & DELTA EDITION即中国日报长三角版的一部分)拥有一批优秀的中外籍专栏作家。在这群优秀的专栏作家中,蔡尚耀是其中写得勤又写得好的一位佼佼者。在2004年至2005年两年里,蔡尚耀在上海英文星报(SHANGHAI STAR)发表英文专栏文章最多,置顶头篇文章(Lead story)也属最多。

Wealth gap wedges its way into campus life

By Cai Shangyao

Shanghai Star. 2005-08-25

The Ministry of Education has issued new regulations for accommodation of college and university students,explicitly stating that accommodation should not be allocated in accordance with the financial conditions of the individual student.(The Beijing News,July 20)

Over recent years, the wealth gap in our society has grown dramatically,leading to a polarization of rich and poor.University campuses have also felt the impact.At present,college and university students are economically divided into three classes:the affluent,the poor and those who are in between.While some affluent students drive to school in their own cars,some students barely have enough money to pay for tuition, books, housing,and food, and some destitute students even have to earn their tuition and living by doing odd jobs.

The rich-poor disparity has permeated every aspect of students’ lives.

Last year,some students of Yangzhou University in East China’s Jiangsu Province moved into a dormitory specifically designed to accommodate poor students, which was rather poorly equipped, but the rent was low at 500 yuan(US$62) per year.The university said the move to lodge impoverished students in a”dormitory for poor students” was intended to lighten their financial burden,but the move actually sparked a heated argument,bringing the issue of the gap between haves and have-nots to the forefront of public concern.

The growing polarization on university campuses is undoubtedly a reflection of the widening wealth gap in Chinese society.After all, universities are made up of people,and where there are people,they are invariably divided into the rich and the poor.In such social context,it is really a huge challenge to deal with the rich-poor stratification in campus life and foster a harmonious relationship between students.

On one hand,students should learn to face the reality of the gap.They should understand that colleges and universities are not isolated entities, but rather microcosms of the society.Awareness and understanding of this reality would help students develop their social consciousness and prepare them to adapt to a society with a huge chasm between the haves and the have-nots.

Moreover,students should learn to respect others no matter how different they are.Rich students and poor students should respect each other’s opinions and feelings,treat each other equally with dignity,get along with each other and live together in harmony.

On the other hand,colleges and universities should treat students equally regardless of their economic or social backgrounds.All students are equal and differences in economic status should not be accentuated.The public nature of universities and institutions of higher education, whether publicly or privately funded, must be strengthened.

Colleges and universities exist not only to impart knowledge of various disciplines, but also to help each student develop a sound personality and an integrated philosophy of life, so as to enable them to face the challenges of the future and allow them to realise their full potential.

Harmonious inter-student relationships are an important aspect of harmonious university environment.It is not easy ,and it requires a lot of efforts to achieve harmonious inter-student relationship,especially harmonious relationship between rich and poor students.

(PAGE 2 Lead story in the Shanghai Star
上海英文星报二版置顶头篇文章)

上海英文星报(SHANGHAI STAR)(自2006年起,SHANGHAI STAR已成为CHINA DAILY SHANGHAI & DELTA EDITION即中国日报长三角版的一部分)拥有一批优秀的中外籍专栏作家。在这群优秀的专栏作家中,蔡尚耀是其中写得勤又写得好的一位佼佼者。在2004年至2005年两年里,蔡尚耀在上海英文星报(SHANGHAI STAR)发表英文专栏文章最多,置顶头篇文章(Lead story)也属最多。

Foster good doctor-patient relationship

By Cai Shangyao

Shanghai Star. 2005-09-29

Professor Dai Chunfu,a noted doctor in East China’s Fujian Province,was recently stabbed to death in his office by a former patient who blamed the doctor for failing to “cure” his disease.

This murder case has aroused much public discussion.What is noteworthy and thought-provoking is that most comments expressed a measure of understanding for the murderer,but there was plenty of scepticism about and criticism of the murdered doctor.

The tragedy has once again brought the strained doctor-patient relationship onto centre stage.As we know,the doctor-patient relationship has deteriorated since the reform of China’s medical and health system began.As a matter of fact,this deteriorated relationship is a microcosm of the failed health care system.Other negative consequences are also quite evident:WHO ranked China 188 out of 191 countries in terms of fairness in financial contribution,and 144th for the overall performance of the health system;A survey found that of those who had been referred to hospital for treatment,about 30 per cent did not seek hospitalization on grounds of excessive cost or inability to pay.Other reports indicate that more than 50 per cent of the people who suffer from illnesses refrain from seeking treatment because of financial constraints.

Since the doctor-patient relationship is an important aspect of health care,we need to think carefully before taking measures to end the current hostile attitude between them.

An open and transparent health care system is essential.In a transparent health care market there is information about health care providers, prices, quality and content of care.With a transparent health-care system in place,patients can make decisions in their best interest,which is beneficial to building patients’ confidence and trust in medical and nursing staff,and the government can use its health care resources more efficiently so as to improve health services and infrastructure for the benefit of all citizens.

Meanwhile,it is also necessary to develop an interpersonally warm medical care environment. Professionally speaking,a doctor’s duty is to help patients who are in need regardless of social position or ability,doing all he/she can to prevent, alleviate or cure disease.So a doctor should have the heart of a Buddha, saving the afflicted and saving the distressed like Spirit of Great Kindness and Great Mercy.Therefore,it is necessary to take reasonable steps to ensure the proper professional and ethical conduct of medical personnels so that harmonious relationships can be attained between medical personnel and patients.

(PAGE 2 Lead story in the Shanghai Star
上海英文星报二版置顶头篇文章)