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没钱、不会英语,但美国接纳了这位年轻的外国人

更新时间:2018/11/23 21:37:27 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

No Money. No English. But America Welcomed a Young Foreigner.
没钱、不会英语,但美国接纳了这位年轻的外国人

One of the things I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving is the warm welcome that America extended to a man born 100 years ago in what is now Ukraine.

在这个感恩节,我要感谢的其中一件事是,美国对一个100年前出生在今天乌克兰境内的人表示了热烈欢迎。

Wladyslaw Krzysztofowicz was born into an Armenian family in a dangerous region; you might think of it as the Honduras of its day. During World War II, some family members were murdered by the Nazis; afterward, some survivors were killed by the Soviet “liberators.”

瓦迪斯瓦夫·克日什托福维奇(Wladyslaw Krzysztofowicz)出生在一个危险地区的亚美尼亚家庭;你可能会把那里想象成是那个时代的洪都拉斯。“二战”期间,几名家庭成员被纳粹杀害;之后,一些幸存者中又被苏联“解放军”杀害。

Wladyslaw escaped by swimming across the Danube River from Romania to Yugoslavia, was almost executed, made his way to France — and began to dream of coming to America.

瓦迪斯瓦夫游过多瑙河,从罗马尼亚逃到南斯拉夫,差点被处死,后来他去了法国——并开始梦想来美国。

My father, for that’s who he was, explored illegal options, including a fake marriage with a U.S. citizen, but in the end the First Presbyterian Church in Portland, Ore., sponsored him — even though he was Catholic, spoke no English.

那是我的父亲,他曾仔细研究非法选项,包括和美国公民假结婚,但最终,俄勒冈州波特兰的第一长老会教会赞助了他——尽管他是天主教徒,一句英语也不会说。

There were many reasons not to take him: The sponsors had to pay his transportation to America, cover his expenses and find him a job that didn’t require English (he initially worked as a logger). They did all this with tremendous generosity; I’m still trying to pay it forward.

有很多理由不接受他:赞助者必须支付他去美国的交通费,包括其他开支,以及为他找一份不要求英语的工作(他最初是一名伐木工)。他们以极大的慷慨完成了这一切;我仍在试图传递这份爱。

So in 1952, my father was on the deck of the ship Marseille as it approached New York Harbor. A white-haired Boston woman tried to chat with him, but my dad couldn’t understand her.

所以1952年,当“马赛号”驶近纽约港时,我的父亲站在了甲板上。当时一名满头白发的波士顿妇女想要跟他聊天,但他听不懂。

The woman took out a piece of paper and wrote down the famous lines on the Statue of Liberty in front of them: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. …”

那名女子拿出一张纸,写下了在他们面前的自由女神像上雕刻着的几句著名的铭文,“给我你们的疲惫,你们的穷困,拥挤在旅途渴望自由呼吸的身躯……”
“Keep this as a souvenir, young man,” she told him. Then she corrected herself: “Young American.”

“把这个当作纪念品吧,年轻人,”她对他说。然后又纠正道:“年轻的美国人。”

My father was moved that he should be welcomed as a “young American” before he had even set foot on American soil. He kept that piece of paper in his wallet for years as a memento of the values of his new homeland.There were difficulties, of course. No one could pronounce a first name bristling with consonants or a surname with three Z’s, so he shortened his name to Ladis Kristof. He learned English, and Reed College and then the University of Chicago admitted him on scholarships. Eventually, he became a university professor.

在踏上美国国土前,就被当作一个“年轻的美国人”而受到欢迎,我的父亲为此深受感动。多年来,他把那张纸作为新祖国价值观的纪念物,一直放在钱包里。当然也会有困难。没有人能把一个辅音林立的名字,或一个有三个Z的姓氏念出来,所以他把自己的名字缩短为拉迪斯·克里斯托夫(Ladis Kristof)。他学习英语,里德学院(Reed College)和芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)先后录取了他,还提供奖学金。最终,他成为了一名大学教授。

Nobody held it against him that he had a thick Slavic accent, couldn’t name a Beatles song and was fuzzy about whether the Super Bowl involved basketball or football. As an outfielder in a baseball game at a picnic, he grabbed a ground ball and threw it so that he hit a batter barreling toward second base; he was proud of his throw and exasperated that the runner wasn’t called out.

没有人因为他有一口浓重的斯拉夫口音,无法说出一首披头士的歌名,或者不知道超级碗到底是篮球比赛还是足球的就反对他。在一次野餐时的棒球比赛中,作为外野手,他抓起一个地滚球,扔向正在奋力跑向二垒的击球手;他对这一掷十分得意,因此当跑垒员没有被判出局时,他快气疯了。

That is what I give thanks for: an America willing to embrace immigrants with puzzling accents. I give thanks as well that this thread of magnanimity has, mostly, triumphed over the other thread represented by the Know-Nothings, the anti-Catholic riots, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the exclusion of Jewish refugees like Anne Frank, the internment of Japanese-Americans, the Muslim ban and this year, the separation of immigrant families at the Mexican border. Such ugliness has left a series of stains on our history.

这就是我要感谢的:一个愿意接纳口音令人费解的移民的美国。我还要感谢:这种宽宏大量的态度,它大多数情况下,战胜了另一种态度,那种态度以一无所知运动、反天主教骚乱、排华法案、驱逐像安妮·弗兰克(Anne Frank)这样的犹太难民、拘禁日裔美国人、穆斯林禁令以及今年在美墨边境隔离移民家庭为代表。这些丑陋事件在我们的历史上留下了一系列污点。

Granted, immigration is a complex issue. We can’t open our borders and admit everyone, so there are difficult lines to draw and trade-offs to make. President Trump sometimes talks about moving toward a Canadian-style system that gives preference on immigration to educated professionals rather than to relatives of those already here, and that’s a reasonable policy suggestion worth debating.

诚然,移民是一个复杂的问题。我们不能开放我们的边境,并接纳每个人,所以有一些难划的界限和难做的权衡。特朗普总统有时谈到要走向加拿大式的移民体系,在移民中优先考虑那些受过教育的专业人士,而不是那些已经在这里人的亲属,这是一个值得讨论的合理的政策建议。

What’s not reasonable is the demonization of Syrian or Honduran refugees, or orders to tear children from their parents. This Thanksgiving, I give thanks to all those lawyers, social workers and volunteers who for months have been assisting migrants and trying to reunite traumatized children with panicked parents.

不合理的,是对叙利亚或者洪都拉斯难民的妖魔化,或者让孩子和父母分离的命令。这个感恩节,我感恩所有的律师、社会工作者,以及志愿者,他们连月以来帮助移民,努力让这些受到创伤的儿童和他们惊慌不安的父母重聚。

There are still many children who have not been reunited with families (245 as of last month). In some cases, American authorities effectively kidnapped immigrant children from parents and placed them in foster care. As we gather with our families, they wonder if they will see their families again.

仍然有许多孩子没有与家人团聚(截至上个月有245人)。在某些情况下,美国当局实际上就是从父母那里绑架了移民儿童,并将他们安置在寄养环境中。当我们与家人相聚时,他们不知道自己能否再次见到他们的家人。

My father died in 2010. He is not here on what would be his 100th birthday to see his adopted homeland dispatch troops to the border as a political stunt to combat “invaders.” I give thanks that my dad arrived at a time when Americans saw the humanity in foreigners even if they dared try to improve the rules of baseball.

我的父亲在2010年去世。他不会在他的100岁生日之际,看到这个曾经接收他的家园正在派遣军队到边境,并将此作为打击“入侵者”的政治噱头。我要感恩的是,当我父亲来到美国的时候,美国人在外国人身上还能看到人性,即便他们竟然企图改进棒球规则。

This Thanksgiving, I give thanks to those like the Boston lady who saw in my dad not an “invader” or a “rapist” or a “murderer” but simply a “young American.” If only we were all now like the Boston lady.

这个感恩节,我感谢那些像那位波士顿女士一样的人,他们没有将我的父亲视为一个“入侵者”、“强奸犯”或者“杀人犯”,而只是一个“年轻的美国人”。要是我们现在都像那位波士顿女士就好了。

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