您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 国际 >> 正文

中国千禧一代的星座文化

更新时间:2017-7-25 19:14:43 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

When Young Chinese Ask, ‘What’s Your Sign?’ They Don’t Mean Dragon or Rat
中国千禧一代的星座文化

BEIJING — China, the birthplace of the Chinese zodiac and some of the world’s oldest and most sophisticated fortunetelling techniques, has a new obsession: Western astrology.

北京——中国是中式生肖以及世界上某些最古老、最复杂的算命术的发源地,但是现在,这里的人们迷上了西方占星术。

What remains a largely niche interest in the West has in recent years become a mainstream cultural trend in China, especially among the younger generation. At dinner tables and in coffee shops, friends and strangers trade the latest gossip and tidbits about their astrological profiles.

在西方,星座在很大程度上是一种小众的爱好,近年来却成了中国的一种主流文化,尤其是在年轻人中间。餐桌旁或咖啡店里,人们会跟朋友乃至陌生人谈论关于自己星座的最新八卦与趣闻。

Online, social media accounts with millions of fans dispense weekly horoscope forecasts. On dating websites, users list their zodiac signs alongside other basic information like age, salary, and car and home ownership status.

网络上,一些拥有数以百万计粉丝的社交媒体账号每周都会发布星座运势预测。相亲网站上,用户除了列出自己的年龄、收入以及是否有车有房,还会列出星座。

Starting in the 1990s, Western astrology began to seep into China, mostly through variety shows from Taiwan, which caught the astrology bug early on. After the spread of the internet, a seed of interest soon blossomed into a torrid love affair.

西方占星术自1990年代起开始传入中国,主要是通过各种台湾综艺秀——台湾人更早就已经成为星座爱好者。星座在网上流传开以后,兴趣的种子很快就开花结果,演变为狂热的爱好。

While concepts like the traditional Chinese zodiac are still relevant, they are often dismissed by millennials here as “the older generation’s pastime.” Western astrology, on the other hand, is seen as more fun. Much as some Westerners have embraced Eastern practices like Buddhism, young Chinese are gravitating toward Western astrology because they say it is new and exotic.

中国传统生肖之类的概念仍然有其市场,但这里的千禧一代常常带着些轻视的意味称之为“老一辈爱玩的”。西方占星术则被视为更有趣的东西。就如同一些西方人全盘接受佛教等东方修行,中国年轻人也同样受到占星术吸引,他们说它既新奇又富有异国情调。

“People don’t get as excited about traditional culture because it’s too familiar,” said Liu Hongchen, an astrologer known as Eskey among his more than nine million followers on Weibo, a popular microblogging site. “The younger generation likes Western culture more, and the interest in Western astrology is a perfect example of this.”

“因为人们对传统文化熟悉,所以就不是那么特别感兴趣,”被900余万微博粉丝唤作Eskey的占星师刘洪晨说。“年轻一代更喜欢西方文化,对西方星座的兴趣正好反映了这一点。”

More and more Chinese are consulting the ancient practice for celestial guidance on all kinds of major life decisions: relationship advice, making friends, having babies — even hiring employees.

越来越多的中国人正诉诸这种古老的做法,就生活中的各种重要决定寻求星象指引,不管是恋爱、交友、生子,还是招聘员工。

Que Gangjian, a manager at a car sales company in the southern Chinese city of Changzhou, said that true to his nature as a Pisces, he was better at handling the so-called softer side of the business. So when it came time to recruit a sales representative, Mr. Que considered what skills would be best suited to the demanding job and would complement his own.

在中国南方城市广州的一家汽车销售公司担任经理的阙刚健(音)说,他是真正的双鱼座,更擅于应对生意中所谓柔性的一面。因此,招聘销售代表的时候,阙刚健会考虑哪些技能与这一要求很高的工作最契合,还可以和他自己的技能互补。

After listing the mandatory requirements — a hardworking attitude, a driver’s license and a quick tongue — Mr. Que inserted another line into the online job posting: “Scorpios, Capricorns and Geminis preferred.”

在列出勤奋的工作态度、有驾照和语速快等硬性要求之后,阙刚健在网络招聘帖子里加入了另一个条件:“天蝎座、摩羯座和双子座优先。”

“People who fall under these three signs tend to be more persistent — they don’t give up as easily,” Mr. Que said in a telephone interview. “So really this is just to save time and make the hiring process more efficient.”

“这三个星座的人更有韧劲,他们不轻易放弃,”阙刚健在接受电话采访时说。“所以我觉得列出这些就是为了节省招聘时间,更有效率而已。”

It is not the only instance of what has become known in China as “zodiac discrimination.” A recent survey showed that 4.3 percent of college graduates looking for jobs in China had experienced discrimination based on their Western or Chinese zodiac sign. On Baidu Baike, the Chinese version of Wikipedia, there is even an entry for the term “xingzuo zhaopin,” or job recruitment based on Western zodiac signs.

这不是在中国被称为“星座歧视”的唯一一个例子。最近的一项调查显示,4.3%的中国大学毕业生在求职过程中曾因自己的星座或生肖而遭受歧视。在类似维基百科的百度百科里,甚至有一个条目是“星座招聘”,也就是基于西方星座的工作招聘。

Of the 12 horoscope signs, Virgos, or those born between Aug. 23 and Sept. 22, have an especially rough time. Described as perfectionists, Virgos — and Virgo men in particular — are considered to be constantly on the defensive. While the criticism is mostly tongue in cheek, the sign has become so tarnished that some Chinese employers go out of their way to emphasize in job postings that, yes, Virgos are welcome to apply, too.

在12个星座中,出生于8月23日至9月22日的处女座处境格外艰难。处女座——特别是处女座男性——被描述为完美主义者,也被视为一直处于戒备状态之中。虽然这样的批评大多是开玩笑的,但是这个星座已经被污名化,一些中国雇主会在招聘帖子里特意强调,是的,我们也欢迎处女座的申请。

The derision has prompted much introspection among Virgos.

这样的嘲笑引发了处女座人的不少反省。

“Sometimes I think about whether my personality has been shaped by the stereotype,” said Yan Rubin, 35, a Virgo and an electronics engineer in the northern Chinese city of Xi’an. “I wouldn’t say it’s discrimination, necessarily, but I guess we’re just different from the other signs.”

“有时我会思考,自己的个性是不是被刻板印象塑造了,”中国北方西安市一位处女座的电子工程师、35岁的阎鲁宾(音)说。“我不会说这是歧视,但我想我们和别的星座不一样。”

Hu Xiaofei, like many of her friends, had a strong aversion to Virgos until she discovered that her boyfriend’s birthday fell within the ill-fated range.

和她的许多朋友一样,胡晓飞(音)对处女座深恶痛绝,直到她发现男友的生日也落在了这个倒霉的星座。

“Well, he wasn’t a true Virgo,” said Ms. Hu, 28, a Taurus who works in public relations in Shanghai. “His mom changed his birthday when he was younger so he could make the age cutoff for school.”

“嗯,他不是真正的处女座,”28岁、金牛座的胡晓飞说,她目前在上海做公关工作。“他小时候,他妈妈为了让他早点上学,就给他改了生日。”

In any case, Ms. Hu said she did not take horoscopes that seriously. “It’s just something to read everyday when I’m bored on the subway,” she said, adding that they certainly they did not influence her life decisions.

无论如何,胡晓飞说自己并没有认真对待星座。“只不过是我每天在地铁上无聊看的东西,”她补充说,这些当然不会影响自己的生活决定。

Well, that is, with one exception.

不过也有一个例外。

“Oh, I would never date a Cancer,” Ms. Hu said adamantly. “They might be good family men but most of the Cancer guys I know dabble outside their marriage. It’s really bad.”

“我绝对不跟巨蟹约会,”胡晓飞斩钉截铁地说。“他们可能是很好的住家男人,但是我认识的绝大多数巨蟹男都搞婚外情。太差劲了。”

Over the centuries, China developed a set of sophisticated divination techniques for use within and outside the imperial court. Today, many Chinese still consult fate-calculating practices like bazi, which determines a person’s fortune based on birth year, month, date and hour.

几个世纪以来,中国形成了一套复杂的占卜技术,在皇家与民间广泛使用。如今,许多中国人仍然参考“八字”这种算命方式——根据出生的年月日与时辰来决定一个人的命运。

And the traditional Chinese zodiac, which features 12 animals representing 12 years, is so widely referenced that in 2014, several provinces reported a spike in births among young couples hoping to have their babies in the last weeks of the auspicious Year of the Horse to avoid the less favorable Year of the Sheep.

中国十二生肖则是用12种动物来代表12年,它的使用非常广泛,比如2014年,有几个省份出现了婴儿出生的高峰,年轻夫妇希望在吉祥的马年里,赶在最后几个星期把婴儿生下来,避开不那么吉利的羊年。

China is, of course, not the only place where interest in the occult thrives. A survey by the National Science Foundation, published in 2014, found that in recent years the number of Americans who said they believed that astrology was “sort of scientific” or “very scientific” was on the rise.

当然,中国不是唯一一个对神秘学产生浓厚兴趣的地方。美国国家科学基金会(National Science Foundation)2014年发布的一项调查发现,近些年,声称自己认为占星术“有点科学”或“非常科学”的美国人的数量在上升。

The difference in China is the visibility of the phenomenon. Unlike in America, there is little embarrassment about believing in Western astrology. Determining your fortune based on the interaction between the sun, the stars and the planets is just what Chinese have been doing for hundreds of years.

这种现象在中国的特别之处在于它特别明显。与美国不同,相信西方占星术并不会让中国人觉得不好意思。根据与太阳、恒星和行星的互动确定命运是成百上千年来中国人一直在做的事。

At the root of Western astrology’s popularity, some astrologers say, is a growing thirst for spiritual guidance.

有些占星师表示,西方占星术流行的根基是人们对精神指引越来越多的渴望。

“In America, you have religion,” Panda Cao, a Chinese astrologer based in Washington, said. “But in China, most people don’t have a defined belief system. They don’t have a godlike figure to help them find a solution or guide them in a certain direction. So Western astrology helps fill that gap.”

“在美国有宗教,”华盛顿的华裔占星师判答说,“但是在中国,人们没有一个明确的信仰系统,没有一个像上帝那样的形象来帮助人们找到一个解决问题的途径,或者指导他们方向。所以星座就起到了填补这个空白的作用。”

Never mind all the skeptics who say astrology is a pseudoscience.

不过,有不少质疑者声称占星术是伪科学。

“Didn’t Reagan like astrology?” Ms. Cao asked, referring to Nancy Reagan, the former first lady who is said to have kept an astrologer on retainer while her husband, President Ronald Reagan, was in the White House. “So I don’t think you can say that it’s completely false.”

“里根总统不也相信星座吗?”判答问道。她指的是前第一夫人南希·里根(Nancy Reagan)。据说她的丈夫罗纳德·里根总统(Ronald Reagan)在白宫时,南希经常咨询一名占星师。“所以我觉得你不能简单地将星座定义为迷信。”

For some astrologers, the growing obsession has translated into big business. Cai Yuedong, also known as Tongdao Dashu, shot to online fame in recent years with his satirical zodiac-themed cartoons.

对有些占星师来说,人们对星座越来越多的痴迷变成了大生意。近些年,“同道大叔”蔡跃东凭借讽刺性的星座主题漫画在网上蹿红。

In December, Meisheng Culture, a local investment firm, spent $32 million to acquire a 72.5 percent stake in Tongdao Dashu’s company. There are now plans to spin off the popular social media account, which has over 12 million fans on Weibo and many more on Tencent’s messaging app WeChat, into a sprawling zodiac-themed franchise.

去年12月,当地投资公司美盛文化以3200万美元购买了同道大叔公司72.5%的股份。现在,他们计划围绕自己的热门社交媒体账户发展出一个庞大的星座主题特许品牌。同道大叔在微博上有1200多万关注者,在腾讯的即时通讯应用程序微信上的关注者更多。

To be sure, China has plenty of astrology skeptics. In December, Guokr, a popular science website, organized an online lecture that used scientific arguments to defend against the growing prominence of Western astrology.

毋庸置疑,中国有很多星座怀疑者。去年12月,热门科学网站果壳网组织了一场在线讲座,用科学论述反驳西方占星术越来越显著的地位。

“Western astrology is the most annoying trend,” said Yu Jun, a science editor at Guokr and a die-hard skeptic. “A person’s personality has nothing to do with his or her star sign.”

“星座的流行是一个讨厌的趋势,”果壳网的科学编辑、坚定的星座怀疑者虞骏说。“一个人的性格和他的星座没有关系。”

But every once in a while, Mr. Yu said, he finds himself succumbing to the celestial pressure.

不过,虞骏表示,他也会时不时地屈服于上天的压力。

“Sometimes I’ll joke about horoscopes with my friends,” Mr. Yu, a Pisces, admitted. “But my star sign is the sign that is least likely to believe in star signs.”

“有时候,我也会拿星座跟朋友们开玩笑,”双鱼座的虞骏承认。“我的星座是最不可能相信星座的星座。”

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表