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一个有关亚裔的米姆小组是如何红遍全球的

更新时间:2018/12/12 20:24:00 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ Became a Global Hit
一个有关亚裔的米姆小组是如何红遍全球的

SYDNEY, Australia — The Facebook group was supposed to be a fun distraction from high school exams.

澳大利亚悉尼——Facebook小组本应该是让人暂时不去想高中考试的有趣调剂。

Its creators, a crew of Melbourne students who had bonded over weekends in Chinese language school, had noticed a Facebook group called “Subtle Private School Traits.”

小组的创建者,一群周末一起在中文学校学习的墨尔本学生注意到了一个名为“微妙的私立学校特质”的Facebook小组。

They started joking about their own experiences: the struggles and joys of being a first-generation immigrant.

他们开始调侃自己的经历:作为第一代移民的挣扎和乐趣。

“We were like, what if we made a ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ page,” said Anne Gu, 18.

“我们就说,如果我们建一个‘微妙的亚裔特质’页面呢,”18岁的安·顾(Anne Gu)说。

The concept was simple: Share jokes about the traits, subtle or otherwise, that characterized the Asian-Australian experience, from cultural clashes with parents and the sanctity of bubble milk tea, to the groan-worthy pickup lines from white men on dating apps. (Are you from Asia? Because I’m China get your number.)

想法很简单:分享能够体现亚裔澳大利亚人经历的特征的笑话——无论隐晦还是显明——从与父母的文化冲突和珍珠奶茶的神圣性,到约会应用上那些令人叹息的来自白人男性的搭讪。(你是来自亚洲吗?因为我China要你的号码。)(China音近“tryna”,有“在尝试”之意。——译注)

In September, they created a Facebook group and added their friends, expecting it would live and die within the young, Asian community in Melbourne.

9月,他们创建了一个Facebook小组,并添加了他们的朋友,以为它只会在墨尔本亚裔青年社区里自生自灭。

But as memes and jokes flowed, the follower count soared. Now, it’s edging close to 1 million followers, spawning spinoffs, and catapulting the conversation to the United States, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

但随着米姆和笑话流传,关注者数量飙升。现在,它已有接近100万的关注者,孕育了衍生的小组,并将对话交流推向美国、加拿大、新西兰、英国、香港和荷兰。

“It kept on growing and we couldn’t believe it ourselves,” said Ms. Gu. “It’s tapped into something.”

“一直在增长,我们自己都不敢相信,”顾说。“它利用到了某种力量。”

That something is potent, young and international.

这是一种有力、年轻和国际化的东西。

Powered by global immigration and the borderless procrastination magnet of social media, the Facebook group has become a gathering place for laughs and reflection on the complicated experience of first generation Asian immigrants who have grown up reconciling the expectations of their heritage and the identity of the country they call home.

在全球移民和社交媒体这个让人不务正业的无国界磁石吸引下,Facebook小组已经成为这样一个聚集地,大家一起开玩笑,并对第一代亚裔移民的复杂体验进行思考,他们从小就要在族裔传承的期待和他们视为祖国的国家身份之间寻求调解。

“We’ve been brought up in the in-between,” said Angela Kang, 21, another co-founder. And in the group that background is the norm.

“我们一直在中间地带成长,”另一位联合创始人安吉拉·康(Angela Kang)说。而在这个小组里,这种身份背景是常态。

“Everyone’s just more supportive,” she said. “Everyone understands.”

”每个人都变得更加乐于助人,”她说。“每个人都能理解。”

Anne Gu recalled a memory that reflects the kind of experiences driving the group. One day at her private high school, her teacher discovered she didn’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese at home, but Shanghainese — one of more than 100 dialects.
 
安·顾回想起一段往事,反映了推动这个小组发展的那种经历。有一天在她的私立高中,她的老师发现她在家里不说普通话或广东话,而说上海话——中国100多种方言中的一种。

“He stopped the whole class and asked if everyone knew there was a different dialect,” she said.

“他停下了在讲的课,问大家是不是都知道,在那里是有一种不同的方言的,”她说。

She said she doesn’t mind that her friends ask her about her heritage, although answering questions can be “a bit tedious.”
 
她说她不介意她的朋友问她有关文化传统的问题,尽管回答这些问题可能“有点烦人”。

The endless stream of memes in the “Subtle Asian Traits” group provides relief — it’s a chance to belong for once without having to try.

“微妙的亚裔特质”小组中层出不穷的米姆提供了一种解脱——这是一次无需尝试即可获得归属感的机会。

“We don’t have to explain stuff,” she said.

“我们不需要解释什么,”她说。

That sense of shared ease is an especially compelling draw in Australia, where an increasingly multicultural population exists alongside a largely white power structure. For many young Asian Australians, it can be hard not to internalize the perceived hierarchy, especially when immigration is becoming a more contentious issue ahead of next year’s federal election.

在澳大利亚,这种共有的轻松感格外有吸引力,在那里,越来越多元化的人口与主要是白人的权力结构一起存在。对于许多年轻的亚裔澳大利亚人来说,这种等级的意识很难避免在心里固定下来,特别是在明年联邦选举之前,移民成为一个越来越有争议的议题之时。

“It’s so hard because part of us wants to fit in and be in the crowd and be like them,” said Ms. Gu, of Anglo-Australians. “I’ve felt sad about who we are, where we come from, and just the identity that we hold.”

“这太难了,因为我们中的一部分人想要适应并融入人群中,变得跟他们一样,”安·顾在谈到英裔澳大利亚人时说。“我曾经为我们是谁、来自哪里,以及我们拥有的身份认同感到难过。”

And in Subtle Asian Traits, those differences are not so different after all; they’re the norm.

在“微妙的亚裔特质”小组里,那些不同就不算什么不同了;它们是常态。

Everyday friends tag each other in memes featuring Drake, Pikachu and Expanding Brains that weigh in on a wide range of experiences, from the taste of a childhood favorite food to adopting a Western name solely for baristas.

每天,朋友们都在米姆中标上彼此的名字,里面有德雷克(Drake)、皮卡丘和“开脑洞”(Expanding Brains)等等,他们对各种经历表达看法,从儿时喜欢的食物的味道,到给自己取一个去咖啡馆打工时专用的西式名字。

These memes — witty, visual and catered to the audience — have powered the group’s explosive growth by allowing self-reflection.

这些米姆——诙谐,直观,并且是针对观众而作——通过鼓励自我反思来推动小组的爆炸性增长。

“Memes express a culture’s belief, they tell its stories, they pass along these narratives from person to person,” said Dr. Justine Humphry, a lecturer in digital cultures at the University of Sydney.

“米姆表达了一种文化信念,它们讲述了自己的故事,它们将这些叙述从一个人传递给另一个人。”悉尼大学(University of Sydney)数字文化讲师贾斯汀·汉弗莱(Justine Humphry)博士说。

The simple act itself of sharing a meme and being able to decode it positions people as insiders within a culture, she added.

她还说,分享一种米姆,并且能够解开其中的密码,这种行为本身就可以把人们定位成一种文化的圈内人。

“Those kinds of practices — of sharing and creating jokes that are readable within a community — are actually very, very powerful,” she said.

“这种分享和创造笑话的做法,在社区中是非常非常有效的,”她说。

Underneath the humor, weightier issues have become a topic of group discussion, such as the differing expressions of love across cultures and families. One woman shared a meme from the group with her mother, which led to a surprising conversation.

小组已经开始讨论幽默背后更沉重的话题,比如不同文化和家庭中对爱的不同表达。一个女人向母亲分享了一个从小组看来的米姆,引发了一场令人惊讶的对话。

“Subtle Asian Traits got me my first ‘I love you’ from my mom so I’d like to thank you all for that,” she posted.

她在帖子里写道:“‘微妙的亚裔特质’让我第一次从妈妈那里听到了‘我爱你’,所以我想感谢你们所有人。”

Careful moderation of the group, which has set its tone, is a key factor of the group’s success, said Dr. Humphry. Members wanting to submit content to Subtle Asian Traits must first have their post approved by an administrator.

汉弗莱说,小组的内容是经过细心审核的,这是它成功的关键因素。会员要想在“微妙的亚裔特质”小组提交内容,必须首先获得管理员批准。

“They provide a place where these kinds of conversations can be a lot more playful and a lot more experimental,” she said.

“它们提供了一个场所,让这类对话可以变得有趣得多,也更具实验性,”她说。

These days, about 3,000 posts daily keep the moderators busy, with all pitching in.

如今,小组里每天约有3000条帖子,这让版主们忙得不可开交,大家都来帮忙。

Ms. Kang often scrolls through posts while on the train to university. Some days, she will sit at the computer for hours, approving posts, with the volume not dropping. “By the time I approve one post, four posts will come in,” she said.

安吉拉·康经常在去上大学的火车上浏览帖子。有时,她一连几个小时坐在电脑前批准帖子通过,但它们的数量还是没有减少。她说:“我刚批准一个帖子,就有四个新帖进来。”

Some people in the group have criticized Subtle Asian Traits for being too focused on the Chinese and Vietnamese diaspora. “We have noticed that, we’re not going to deny that,” said Ms. Kang, adding most of the posts they receive are for those communities, though they are encouraging other communities to contribute.

小组里的一些人批评“微妙的亚裔特质”过于关注中国和越南侨民。“我们已经注意到了,我们不会否认这一点,”安吉拉·康说。她还说,他们收到的大多数帖子都是针对这些社区的,不过他们也在鼓励其他社区做出贡献。

In the meantime, others have taken matters into their own hands. A group for the South Asian diaspora called Subtle Curry Traitshas gained momentum. There is Subtle Christian Traits, Subtle Korean Traits.There are even Subtle Asian Datingand Subtle Asian Mates.

与此同时,其他社区也在发展自己的小组。一个名为“微妙的咖喱特质”的南亚移民社区发展很快。还有“微妙的基督徒特质”、“微妙的韩国特质”。甚至还有“微妙的亚洲约会”和“微妙的亚洲伴侣”。

The group has also weathered accusations that it reinforcesself-hating stereotypesor being racist toward white people. Tan Falconer, the founder of another Facebook group popular among Asian-Australians, said that while the group’s jokes are empowering, “it’s empowering Asians in not a really good way because it’s belittling other races.”

该组织也被指责为强化自我憎恨的刻板印象,或对白人持种族主义态度。坦·法尔科纳(Tan Falconer)创建了亚裔澳大利亚人中很受欢迎的另一个Facebook群组,他说,尽管该小组的笑话有赋权的力量,“但它并不是真的在以一种很好的方式为亚洲人赋权,因为它在贬低其他种族。”

The group’s founders say they are keeping a close eye on the fun. They are screening posts for racism and even clamping down on memes referring to “gweilo,” a Cantonese slur for white people.

该小组创始人表示,他们正在密切关注这方面的笑话。他们正在筛查种族主义帖子,甚至删除涉及“鬼佬”的米姆——这是粤语中对白人的蔑称。

People of all ethnicities are welcome in the group so long as they abide by the rules. “We want to keep it as a safe space for everyone,” said Ms. Gu.

这个小组欢迎各民族的人加入,只要他们遵守规则。“我们想让它成为每个人的安全空间,”安·顾说。

For its creators, both the challenges and the success of the group are shocking. They have already received several offers to buy the group. For now, they have all refused.

这个小组的挑战和成功都令它的创建者们感到震惊。他们已经收到了几份收购该小组的提议。目前,他们都拒绝了。

“I’m not in it for the money, I’m not greedy,” said Ms. Kang, a third-year university student who is studying to be in the medical imaging field. “We’re just a group of teenagers doing it for fun.”

“我不是为了钱,我不贪心,”读大三的安吉拉·康说。“我们只是一群为了好玩才做这件事的青少年。”

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