Erenlai - Identity and Self-Realization 認同感與自我實現
Identity and Self-Realization 認同感與自我實現

Identity and Self-Realization 認同感與自我實現

 

 

Where do I come from? Where do I go?... These contributions offer tools to explore the complexities of identity, overcome contradictions and recognize one’s true self.

你的文化認同感很薄弱嗎?這裡的文章帶領你探索認同感的建立、矛盾的根源與自我意義的覺察。

 

 

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

My face, the canvas of my life

As a young child I have always been attracted by beauty and developed an acute sensibility for colours, particularly in drawing and painting. Following my high school graduation I began experimenting with make-up, in an attempt to appear more mature both physically and mentally. In obtaining my degree in art I decided to pursue my studies in Paris, the fashion capital of the world where culture, fashion and the make-up industry are brought to new heights. Until now I continue my studies and work in the domain of art and visual studies and am a university lecturer in make-up application.

Colours have a profound effect on people’s moods and feelings: Yellow invigorates an open and bright feeling while red represents a warm vigour. Green can make one relax, and purple can radiate a sense of grace. They have become my daily companions in painting- if colours had not existed, life would have lost its meaning. It too can reflect a person’s characteristics, thoughts and even their mood at the given moment. Over time, I studied ceaselessly the utilisation of colours in the contemporary world, making use of my time abroad to observe the local landscapes and customs for inspiration - be it from paintings, artefacts or architectures.

Putting on make-up is like painting. Many make-up artists of today emphasise on the same techniques while I think it is more important to adapt them to one’s facial features and contours. I regard the human face as a three-dimensional and dynamic object, never as a palette of unvarying colours that are in fashion.

I prefer to achieve a more natural look, enhancing the skin’s natural lustre and colour by keeping the make-up natural on bare skin. It is also important to let the skin rest by leaving your face make-up free on days when it is not necessary. For pleasure and to create a certain individual charisma, one should try and choose different colouring techniques of the face depending on the occasion.

The concept of beauty has many facets. At times it is profound, and others, simple; it can also be both sensual and graceful. As time goes by, your appearance will show others different depths of wisdom that you have accumulated with age. Whilst make-up can make anyone more superficially beautiful, true beauty can never be achieved without understanding the self. After all everyone has their own aesthetics of life, but one must start by having confidence and love for oneself.

(Photos by Joe Russo)

Attached media :
{rokbox size=|544 384|thumb=|images/slideshow_en.jpg|}media/articles/AimeeHsu_MyFace.swf{/rokbox}

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Photographing myself

I developed photography as a hobby as I was finishing my Master’s dissertation. It has always been a great passion of mine and with free time on my hands, I kick-started my affair with photography. My photos comprise mostly of self-portraits and they portray my emotions at a given moment. It has always been about my emotions.

I prefer portraits to landscape photography as I found it to be of a very different and possibly higher level that made it difficult for me to get into. I find it easier to express emotions with portraits and harder to ooze emotions out of a landscape.
It is also hard to find models for portrait shots, and I usually resort to taking self-portraits which has now developed into a trait of mine.

The photographs portray different sides of me but are all me in different states- some are not what everybody gets to see and some are what I choose not to show everybody in my day to day life. When asked about my particular confidence in myself when it comes to taking photos, I explain that like everyone else, I am not confident with all my features. I am simply more comfortable having my photos taken by myself than some other photographers. I am not too sure how I look in real life, only the observers can really tell. I only get to see myself in photographs and when I look in the mirror.

I am just like everyone else- when I am having a good hair day I am satisfied with how I look.

For composition and aesthetic reasons, I crop the photographs and the result is a singular part of my body. When I do shoot particular parts of my body my intention is to portray the beauty of being a woman.

See more photos by Wen-Chun on her flickr blog
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wentalkstoshoes

{rokbox size=|544 384|thumb=|images/stories/thumbnails_video/wen-chun_kuan_myself.jpg|}media/articles/WenChunKuan_photographingMyself.swf{/rokbox}

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Kaikai, a colorful childhood!

Kaikai Yang, like every 11 years-old boy in Taiwan, goes to school, plays with his friends, and enjoys playing games on the internet.

However, little Kaikai lives his life on a wheel-chair, and needs to go to the hospital once a week in Taichung.

When he was nine months old, the doctors found out that he has an extremely rare illness called ‘muscular dystrophy’. The effect of this long-lasting illness causes his muscles to weaken with time.

To help their child overcome his handicap, Kaikai’s parents offer him the most normal life possible. Hence, Kaikai’s story is about a very courageous and happy little boy who enjoys life above all difficulties.

This little angel has one dream in his life : to be able to stand up by himself one day. From the bottom of my heart, I really believe he can make this dream come true!

Kaikai’s mother often says that Kaikai is a gift from God, as she learns more from his courage and attitude than she ever learned in her life before.

_______________________________________________
Watch a video of Aurelie introducing one of the pictures she took for the project

Attached media :
{rokbox size=|544 384|thumb=|images/slideshow_en.jpg|}media/articles/AurelieK_kaikai.swf{/rokbox}

Friday, 20 February 2009

Skin Deep Beauty

For a long time I have been taught to percept beauty through the criteria that existed with the media in a 90s’ kid’s world. I thought mother’s hair would be worthier of praise had it been voluminous and blonde like Brigitte Bardot’s, brows as defined as the ones of Gong Li, and eyes as startling as Monica Vitti’s to be considered beautiful. I was highly critical when it came to granting the term.

I was one poorly misled 90s’ kid.

Then the ever-so brought up phrase ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’ came along, and it was no longer so easy to determine whether one’s face was worthy to be termed beautiful anymore without consulting the opinion of numerous others. With each year beauty became less attainable and I found myself staggering to keep up with the archetypal beauty icons that ran out of fashion almost as soon as it achieved its term. From the voluptuous standards of Monroe in the 50s’ (hardly my era) to the early 90s underweight sylph-like look embodied by Kate Moss, I do believe somewhere along the way young women have developed a dangerous fascination with the appearance of successful pop icons- a fascination that has evolved into uniform criteria in judging beauty.

Beauty and Media

I, for one, developed a highly unusual taste and perception of female beauty in failing to personify the ever-changing criteria of beauty. Aside from pop culture, my environment also played a large part in altering my perceptions of beauty. In the three different continents I have been brought up in, it took me some time to realise and accustom myself to the idea that there was little uniformity in the African, Asian and European perception of beauty. Fair skin tones are widely embraced by the majority of the Asian society while the deeply tanned skin tone was more welcomed by Europeans. One would not also expect the same admiration for a Junoesque type in Asia than one would in Africa.
Is beauty then a trend based on practice/culture or does it take on a magpie-like theft of the styles of successful pop icons in different places? Is beauty subjective or is there a more scientific, universal rule to beauty? Why do we consistently agree (more or less) on dubbing certain celebrities as beauties or hunks? Looking at our past beauty icons I’d think that the consistency of change in the general public’s opinion on beauty is largely due to their acceptance of a particular ‘look’, that dominates the previous looks with increased popularity that come with success in career and personal interactions.

The Math Behind the Beauty

What determines beauty? In a research conducted by the University of Exeter, babies were exposed to pictures of individuals, some attractive and some less attractive. Babies were found to have cried and stayed away from the less attractive ones, while spending more time looking at the faces of attractive women. It turns out, scientists have found a pattern to beauty and one of them is known as the Golden Ratio - derived from the Fibonacci Numbers that we once learned back in school. The length of the nose, the position of the eyes, and the length of the chin, all conform to certain aspects of the Golden Ratio. A researcher comments: “Attractiveness is not simply in the eye of the beholder, it is in the brain of the newborn infant right from the moment of birth and possibly prior to birth”.

Perhaps beauty is simply skin deep despite what all may say and that we really do have a penchant for faces with the Golden Ratio. A look at the booming cosmetic, aesthetic and entertain industry and we’d know that we are after all, a generation that seeks a beauty that is both culturally dependent and idiosyncratic, appointed by measurements and proportions with positive attributes being a bonus.

Attached media :
{rokbox}media/articles/AliceLin_beauty.jpg{/rokbox}

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Tattoo culture and body art

Tattooing is traditionally done with a needle dipped in ink, in a hand-tapping motion that leaves behind a permanent image on the body of the person being tattooed. A painful process, tattooing oneself is often related to other situations involving facing pain voluntarily, such as that of a soldier courageously facing death at battle. It is an act of endurance for pain that many believe to be an experience of another sense of living. Such factors have contributed to making the practice of tattooing today, an expression of courage or a symbol of identity. In some cultures, sporting tattoos is a sign of rank and prestige, an example being the custom of face-tattooing in the Tayal or the Saisiyat tribes in Taiwan. In ancient Egypt, tattoos are also used to define different social ranks whilst during the Victorian era women had the habit of tattooing the outlines of their lips.

The practice of tattooing in ancient China was first introduced in Mozi’s Gong Heng, whereby a Barbarian king was described as having a tattooed body. Through the writing’s negative connotations of tattoos, we can deduce that the practice of tattooing was not highly regarded by the mainstream Chinese culture, particularly those from the Central Plains whom considered it to be a barbaric practice.

In literature, tattoos were often associated with ‘rebels’ such as the characters described in Water Margin, one of the four greatest classical novels of Chinese literature where at least three main characters sport tattoos all over their body: Lu Zhishen, aka ‘The Flowery Monk’, Shi Jin who is nicknamed ’Nine tattooed dragons’ and Yan Qing ‘The Wanderer’. Thus, writers widely used descriptions and mentions of tattoos to emphasize the savage strength and the charisma of the characters as well as their inclination towards rebellions.

With the modernization of society, tattooing gradually became perceived as a form of body art, widely accepted by the younger generation. Tattooed people are no longer confined to the margins of society; they initiate associations, conduct tattoo expositions and interact better with others. In Japan, tattoos are considered as very valuable pieces of art and tattooed people often see their body-tattoos as supporting the work of tattoo masters. In other countries, people have also opened up to a wide variety of tattoos. For instance, it is in vogue now in some western countries to tattoo several Chinese characters or Arabic words that may not be necessarily coherent. In Hong Kong it is now fashionable to tattoo words in Sanskrit while most Chinese people may prefer English words. The more exotic the writing is for the individual, the more attractive it is.
Nevertheless, it seems like there is still a long way to go to overcome the social prejudice that associates tattooed people with rebelliousness.

Attached media :
{rokbox size=|544 384|thumb=|images/slideshow_en.jpg|}media/articles/Focus_March09_Tattoo.swf{/rokbox}

Monday, 16 February 2009

A surgeon’s cut for a Caucasian look

---Mascara, false lashes and the surgeon’s knife: a Taiwanese route to beauty.

At 19 years old, Audrey Tu (杜綺文) was already applying strips of glue to her eye lids every morning and evening to catch the eyes of boys and envious girls. Her little beauty secret made her eyes become wider, prettier. “It gave me self confidence and so I had more friends than I ever had before,” she said. But this technique was not permanent. So, at 21, she found herself lying on a table at a surgeon’s home to get permanent double eyelid surgery.

There is a vast increase of the number of Taiwanese women who go under the surgeon’s knife to have double eyelid surgery in an attempt to look more beautiful.

The surgery gives women self confidence in their personal and professional life as they take the opportunity to move closer to the Asian ideal of round-eyed Caucasian beauty.

“Better appearance helps a lot in getting a job. In this period of high unemployment, many people with similar qualifications apply for the same job, and I believe a boss will be more willing to hire me now that I look prettier,” said Mrs. Lin (林美環), a 34 year old unemployed secretary, who had the surgery last month.

Professor Chang Chin-hua(張錦華) from the Institute of Journalism at National Taiwan University has been doing research on cosmetic advertisements in all kinds of media since 1995. She said that Taiwanese women have increased their power and mobility within their social and economic environment by going under the knife.

But the new trend in eyelid surgery, and one especially popular among the young, is a desire for more natural looking facial alteration. At the same time as wanting to conform to the beauty ideals society has given them, girls want to use plastic surgery to look more “naturally” beautiful. They hope for a natural look through successful surgery. Indeed, they ask surgeons for natural looking double eyelids.

“My brother and I did not inherit the natural double eye-lids of our parents,” complains Audrey. If half of Asia naturally has double lids, the other half has to go under the surgeon’s knife.


>>>The eyelid surgery is the bulb of cosmetic operations in Taiwan

“Blephariplasty” is by far the most popular technique in Asia, and involves the surgeon creating a crease in the upper lid of the eye with a scalpel. Millions of such surgeries are performed every year in Taiwan, and demand has boosted the market to become one of the most advanced in all Asia. Furthermore, because eyelid surgery is not a high risk operation and is much more affordable than any other kind of plastic surgery, it has become the fastest growing type of plastic surgery.

You can see this success when entering the hall of the fancy “Nobel Group” clinic (諾具爾醫療焦團). Secretaries in light pink suits come to you and welcome you to sit on one of the wooden chairs. Stone paths keep the air fresh and easy listening music helps you to relax. “Our patients are younger and younger every year,” Dr. Chen Mei-Ling (陳美齡), the head surgeon at the clinic, who recalled having done the surgery on a 12-year-old boy once, said. “Most of the girls tell me at the first appointment the surgery is the dream of their life - they have saved money for a couple of years”, she added.

In a crowded clinic situated on Zhong Xiao road, Taipei, known as Taiwan’s ‘Cosmetic Street’(整形街)Dr. Chen operates on more than 180 patients a year, for different cosmetic surgeries. Along ‘Cosmetic Street’, almost 50 cosmetic clinics cluster together, competing for customers.

“Most of the patients are girls, but the trend is reaching boys who are now learning to cherish their appearance too,” she said. “A few years ago, a young boy came to me to have the eye beauty surgery. One surgery lead to another, and after three facial operations, the poor boy’s girlfriend dumped him because she thought he was too plastically similar to magazine models”, she laughed.

The age of women who undergo the operation ranges from 25 to 40 years old, but is narrower for boys, who usually get it at a younger age.

Renee Wu (吳蕙君), a 24-year-old woman working as a doctor’s secretary, had her operation done at the “Oriental Plastic Surgery” clinic (東方整形外科) in Taipei on Zhongshan road. She said that she had wanted to have it done since she was 13 because she saw it in magazines.

As her parents were not wealthy she said: “After I began Junior High School, I saved all the money I had to get the surgery once I graduated.” Indeed, two months after her graduation she was at the hospital, and paid the $20,000NT the surgery cost with the money she had carefully put aside for so many years.

And even if Dr Chen said she sees more and more mothers accompanying their young daughters to the clinic, eager to see how much prettier they will look after the surgery, money was still an issue for Audrey Tu. As a student doing a Master degree

in journalism at National Chengchi University, she could not afford the full price operation . However, after a year and a half of applying strips of glue to her eye lids every day, she decided to go for the surgery with the aid of a discount.

One of her professor’s friends, a well known surgeon working in a cosmetic surgery clinic in Taipei, offered Audrey and her friend the chance to have the surgery at his place. “I only paid $8,000NT for surgery which lasted only 30 minutes,” she said enthusiastically. The surgeon, who did not want his real name divulged, has arranged an operating room at his place where he performs the eye surgery without full legal procedures on girls willing to do it this way to save money.

All of the women spoken to cited increasing social acceptability as another reason why cosmetic surgery is becoming more popular. Women who have had the surgery are more comfortable talking about it than they would have been only a few years ago.

“The only reason why I would feel frustrated if people notice my eye surgery is because I would think that it does not look natural enough,” said Audrey. “But it has changed my life so much that I would recommend it to other girls who lack of self confidence,” she added.

Professor Chang said that young Asian girls have a tough time coping with the models of beauty which they are exposed to in the media and the magazines. “They
grow up and are influenced by these stereotypes,” she said. Magazines pages are full of impossibly beautiful models. Furthermore, their boyfriends or friends push for them to alter their faces. “It is a culture of monitoring each other,” she said.

“I still do not believe in a single stereotype of beauty, but my friends’ influence was so strong that I felt I had to do something about it,” said Jiang Huey lin(江慧玲), an 18 year old high school girl. “I do not think that I look more beautiful now when I look at myself in the mirror, but all my friends and my boyfriend think I do, so I don’t regret having had the eyelid alteration done,” she added.

Professor Chang explained that women are more subject to this beauty myth than men are. For centuries, Asian women have suffered to look beautiful and appearance has been a woman’s most important attribute for just as long. In this context, women feel more pressure to go for cosmetic surgeries than men do.


>>> A deep Korean influence on Taiwan eyelid surgery.

This trend toward “westernizing” the Asian eye is even more pronounced in South Korea, where one person in ten has had cosmetic surgery, national surveys estimated last year. There, young people want to look like their idols and they are not afraid of cosmetic surgery which has become almost commonplace.

And, as in the rest of Asia, South Korea’s first obsession is with the eyes. Girls can get the operation done for $800US and it became a favourite high school graduation gift from parents.

Attracted by the reputation of the country and the world famous “plastic surgery street” in Seoul, Taiwanese girls fly to Korea over the weekend to get double eyelid surgery.

Doctor Su (蘇惠珍), surgeon in cosmetic surgery in the “Veteran hospital” (榮民總醫院-千葉診所) in Taipei city, learned her job in South Korea, and has been working in the ‘Cosmetic Street’ of the capital.. She said that although South Korea has had a deep and long term influence on Taiwan in the field of plastic surgery, the surgery techniques used in Taiwan are as up-to-date as those in South Korea. She felt that, if people go to South Korea, it is only for the Korean plastic surgery myth, because in reality the market in Taiwan is, if anything, even more competitive.

In fact, the sheer number of people wanting cosmetic surgery is pushing scientists to improve their techniques, and Taiwan, Korea and Japan share the cutting edge. “There are trends which differentiate the results sought by Taiwanese from those Koreans look for, but the basics of the surgery are the same.”

Ironically, however, foreigners do not understand this fad for bigger eyes and find slanting eyes exotically attractive. Gary Peddle, a Canadian who has been living in
Taiwan for four years, said: “It’s always seemed a bit sad to me that people do that. They can’t see the charm they already have without the surgery.”

Dr Chent’s new book ‘美顏風華’ (A graceful and beautiful face) was published in May 2006.

(Photo by Louice Fang)

Attached media :
{rokbox}media/articles/Aurelie_surgery.jpg{/rokbox}

Thursday, 12 February 2009

My Face, My Self

Altering one’s face is easy: a bit of make-up, a change in haircut, a pair of glasses, a beard… it is simply a matter of choice. However certain changes have deeper consequences or purport when they are not meant to be temporary or when they imply a cut in the flesh. For example, what are the motivations to undergo plastic surgery or to pierce a porcupine quill through the nose? Are they for aesthetic reasons or are they simply there to make one more comfortable or more self-confident? Could it be to please others or to stand out from the crowd?

On one hand, the face can be seen as the perfect metonymy of one’s self, and on the other hand, it is also paradoxically the one part of our body most prone to change and variability as we age or express our emotions. By putting on make-up, going through operations, piercing or tattooing ourselves, besides asserting an aesthetic vision, we are also re-defining ourselves according to our persona.

If my face is something that people first associate my identity with as well as my very first link to humanity itself, then modifying or hiding the face would be way of asserting a given identity. The way I like my face or not as well as the way I see it are also related to the way other people see my me; in a more general way, how do I make my identity relate to my appearance?

In this month’s issue we explore the relation between one’s face and one’s self through different experiences and testimonies.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Junior Telling Language As It Is

【聖徒節與謀殺案第1回】不一樣的戰士。

十月二十七日星期日.康波村

莉莎.費雪喜歡打獵。
她愛圍獵,眼看著獵物驚恐地感覺到死亡逼近,勝利的顫動傳上脊柱。
她準備好了,只要等。獵物藏匿暗處,時間一分一秒地過,有時,牠們甚至粗暴地反撲。給予獵物致命的一擊後,是陣陣暈眩與飄然,沒有什麼,沒有什麼可以取代這樣的感覺。
莉莎.費雪喜歡打獵,這個年輕的少女追逐風險。
獵物越大,圍獵越使她興奮。
今晚,獵物大得驚人。
時空不一樣的話,莉莎.費雪應該會是個戰士。
這輩子,她選擇當金融顧問。


「這樣的話,您的資金就保住了。您的資本將原原本本地還給您,而且只要股票指數上揚,您還可以獲利。當然囉,您不必煩惱任何課稅的問題。」
莉莎剛說完投資建議的結論。她把資料都攤放在矮几上。
她只需要等。
莉莎是位年輕的女性,到這裡已經講了一個多小時的話。她望著客廳,乳白色大理石客廳內錯落著雪花石方形尖碑,水晶的亮澤,過時的符碼,顯示著主人的尊榮與高貴。
她專注地看著。
她經心說服過後,感覺到獵物伸出脖子,心悅誠服地等待最後一擊。
莉莎如果對老闆描述這個畫面,想起老闆的表情不禁微笑了起來,那位思想正統的代書。
瑪麗.安琪的聲音把她拉回現實。
「嗯,這項產品的確很美。」她說:「而且有保障。」
莉莎對這份讚美點點頭,又說:「這是一項很好的投資,只要把資金放到盧森堡,這樣就可以免稅。」
再來附贈二十分鐘的講解。兄妹很認真地聽著。
達希崗第家族。
半個縣區都是他們家的。貴族。高貴的達希崗第家族。高高在上。


瑪麗.安琪儘管過了五十幾歲,在整個科西嘉,大家還是公認她是一位很漂亮的女人。年紀為她增添了幾公斤,卻無法在圓潤的臉龐上留下痕跡;透亮的肌膚,逃過滿臉皺紋的命運。瑪麗.安琪被歸類為秋日的花,褐髮,靜謐,而且神祕。
這個女人不管在任何場合都彬彬有禮,對敵人微笑,從不透露任何心思。二十年來,家傳的鋸木廠,是南科西嘉的主要產業,她是雇主。
她沒結婚,沒聽說過她的情人,或是她對誰有好感,除了她的姪女。大家說她對姪女有份情,把她養大,而且沒有得到哥哥任何經濟援助,或是教養上的支援。
莉莎從沒見過瑪麗.安琪的鬆懈時刻。瑪麗.安琪接待她的時候,總是一襲黑。沒見過她穿單品上衣,就像隨時為島上眾多的居民而穿一樣。一襲黑,從來不變。但都是名牌,普拉達(Prada),聖羅蘭,香奈兒。點綴著白金。瑪麗.安琪很少吐露真心話,不過她還是建議莉莎少用金色為妙。太俗艷。典型瑪麗.安琪的行事作風。自從莉莎拜訪他們,準備各個交易事項以來,這是她唯一不吝惜說出的內心話,她早在金色港灣說出關於審美的內心話。


莉莎發現自己墜入白夢。這是危險的訊號。這位年輕女子明瞭這般鬆懈的狀態,會讓即將到手的勝利瞬間潰敗,連呼救都來不及。她得緊緊跟好才行,莉莎抓住瑪麗.安琪的最後一句話:
「請容許我這麼問,您如何確保稅務機關不會找我們麻煩呢?」
「我們和以前使用的系統相同。」莉莎趕緊答道:「對於增修和更動的部份,過幾天盧森堡銀行會把資料寄過來,這樣您就可以建立您所希望的運作系統。」
「這樣的話,我想我們應該可以簽字。皮耶.保羅,你覺得怎樣?」瑪麗.安琪轉過頭對她哥哥說。
哥哥。皮耶.保羅.達希崗第(Pierre-Paul d’Arigenti)。
他個子很高,高過一般科西嘉人的身材。儀表多於聰穎,點出他政治生涯的特色。儀表、關係、人脈是科西嘉貴族的延續。其他的,沒什麼與眾不同。高雅的小鬍子,灰白頭髮梳到腦後。眼珠深沉,轉動靈活,貪得無厭。他喜歡當獵食者,他活在臣民賜與的榮耀與卑身屈膝當中。他喜歡市政府金色大廳的接待活動,還有勳章,關起門來的小圈圈偶爾交換一點想法,分享同在一起的喜悅,排擠桃花心木門外另一邊的壞人。
他不喜歡今晚的聚會。他覺得自己像極了自動送上門的獵物,心中的憤意難以平息。他有點責怪這個小費雪,她對瑪麗.安琪有問必答,過於服貼。
「這一切就端視我們對費雪小姐的信任。」他毫不掩飾地表示心中的敵意。
「請原諒他。平日他不是這樣的。您知道,政治嘛…」
莉莎.費雪展現默契微笑著。瑪麗.安琪又說:
「嗯,這樣吧。費雪小姐,您收到資料以後,請來找我們。一定再來這裡喝杯茶。對於今晚的招待,我們禮數不週,請見諒。我們應該請您吃晚餐。還請您找個禮拜天晚上來這裡一趟。時間上,就和今天同樣晚吧。」
「夫人,對我來說,低調是工作的美德。」
瑪麗.安琪點了點頭。
「您知我明就好了。謝謝您。」城堡女主人說。
皮耶.保羅咕噥了幾句。瑪麗.安琪陪莉莎出去。回來時,她只是表示說:「你怎麼這麼粗魯啊。小費雪,她多迷人。說真的,你應該表現得優雅一點。」
皮耶.保羅無心再釋出任何善意。他又嘟噥了幾句聽不清楚的話。兄妹倆一起上樓,他睡在綠房,她睡在朝南的房間,她稱它為亮房。瑪麗.安琪就是這樣,身穿一襲黑,卻喜愛透亮和純白。
皮耶.保羅回到房間,在四柱床幔旁,打開冰箱,為自己倒了杯茴香酒。這樣他才睡得著。皮耶.保羅不喜歡今晚的聚會。
夜,十月底的夜,夜幕已降。空氣中聞得出冬天的味道,牆上淌著濕氣。路上濕滑,光線灰溶,讓人悶累。樹木變得乾硬,屋舍的粗塗灰泥層縮實。一吋一吋地縮。屋牆的裂縫,殘留著灰色小石頭,在驟雨後一閃一閃,宛如貼著肉身的骨頭在閃光。花崗岩骨頭。
莉莎把檔案抱在胸前,想讓自己暖和一些。莉莎在這個村落過了一個冬天,她希望回盧森堡前不要在這裡過冬。這並不是因為康波冷。每年雪下不到兩三次,即使下了,白天就融了。但是,除了冷,路途上的風雨伴人渡過整個冬天。
莉莎覺得科西嘉兩種冬天並存:晴朗的白天,溫潤的沿岸慵懶地沐浴在金色陽光下;島內反而是大陸型氣候,濕氣與寒氣直透最厚的外套。
這時,山口結冰,路面結霜。下午過半以後,最好少去沿岸或是阿雅修附近。夜來了,旅人就被判回到村莊的住處。
《住處還是監獄?》莉莎問自己。
康波是怎樣的村!四百個居民,四百個聾人。她來了以後,很想試著交朋友,不過除了生意上客氣的往來,她總是撞在無聲牆上。對此她倒是不頑固。莉莎.費雪不打算採行解凍政策,因為她不怎麼想在這個刻薄的地方久住。不過,工作倒是很有勁,交易可觀,她讚賞不過。
她規劃自己白天的上班模式,下午過半後回到博蒂修的住處。她的雇主,村莊的代書接受她的提議。若他拒絕,就無法得到她的好回饋。
今晚,她得破例。她比往常留得晚。
今晚,今晚不同,是為了達希崗第家族…


她快步走,資料抱在胸前,紅色大衣太緊了,她覺得煩。選穿這件紅色大衣實在過於愚蠢。這一切都是為了讓達希崗第家留下好印象。夜晚村中沒什麼車子,趁此機會走在馬路中央。一片寂靜裡,她的高跟鞋在冰冷的石板路上步步響著。
她停在郵局門前,把一封信投到郵筒裡,然後啟程從高處下坡。她來到橋旁邊。橋的那頭,立著一個小村莊,叫做低城,整條省道穿越低城而過。代書事務所就在那邊,莉莎的車停在那裡。
莉莎走上橋時,發覺有一個身影,倚在生鏽的鐵欄杆前。
這位年輕女子認得這個看著下方河流的側影。她立直身子,說道:
「我能和您談談嗎?」

附加的多媒體:
{rokbox}media/articles/corse_001.jpg{/rokbox}

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

My Linguistic Paradox

I was born in a multilingual environment as both my parents speak several languages. My father was born in Cambodia and mostly grew up in Vietnam from a wealthy Chinese family. Back then, when he was a child, he spoke fluent Mandarin Chinese and Vietnamese. Furthermore, with his parents, he would speak two Chinese dialects: Hakka with his father and, with his mother, Teochew (Chaozhou dialect) which is the most common Chinese dialect among Han merchants in South-East Asia. As my father was educated in French, he too mastered this language, and now that he has returned to Phnom Pehn, he can also speak everyday Khmer. My mother was born in Taipei, also from a Hakkanese family. Then, in her childhood, she was already trilingual: she would speak Hakka with her parents, with her brothers and friends she would use Holo (or Taiwanese) dialect and Mandarin at school. As she studied in Tokyo, she speaks perfectly Japanese and now that she has been living in France for twenty years, she’s also fluent in French.

Thus, my first twenty years were crippled by the drama of not being able to speak another language than French: from my recollection, my parents never spoke to me in Chinese. In fact, my mother must have spoken to me in mandarin when I was an infant as she couldn’t speak French yet at that time. I was living in a small town of Morocco and, according to my parents, once I came back from kindergarten to decree that from then on I would only speak French. My parents are definitively too liberal and I am still offended by the fact that they had accepted my whim with such easiness! In fact it was quite convenient for my parents that my brother and I couldn’t speak a word of Chinese: they would argue and discuss private matters without having to worry about preserving our innocence. I must say that children have a more developed intuition than what parents think as we were able to recognize and memorize at an early stage most of the vulgarities often used. Also, I missed a second opportunity of becoming a bilingual when I was four years old. I had started to take some classes of Arabic, after a few days, my father asked me what I had learnt and I just said loudly “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”). My father probably thought that I was too young for that kind of education and he immediately removed me from the class. Soon after, we moved to Paris where I carried on my education in French.

At the age of 20, by a twist of fate, I enrolled in a Chinese Language and Culture Degree in a university of Paris and started to learn the language as a beginner. I have to admit that I studied Chinese in a rather dilettante fashion. However I managed to graduate and decided to take off for a year to study Chinese in a language center in Taipei. Chinese language centers are miniatures of the Tower of Babel: I had the chance to be in a small structure where people of the different countries were too few to form segregated gangs. There I dramatically improved my English and also discovered with pleasant amazement that I was even able to speak Spanish! (Actually I had learnt the language at school during seven years without having ever used it.) Suddenly I was no longer a miserable monolingual and soon I discovered the joys of speaking, thinking and even dreaming in other languages. This superimposition of languages in my family and, now, in my everyday environment triggers sometimes the most curious and interesting situations. Last summer, my mother came to visit, accompanied for the first time by her French companion and my brother. We decided to ride the Taipei cable car and I offered my Colombian friend to accompany us. We entered the car with a Taiwanese couple who gaped at us while we were chatting: my Colombian friend would speak in Chinese to my mother and I would translate in French to my brother and my mom’s companion, speaking in English or in Spanish to my friend. The couple must have found it strange that a foreigner could speak Chinese fluently while my brother who looked evidently Taiwanese was not able to mutter a word in mandarin!

My temporary conclusion is that Asia might just be one of the most suitable places to become multilingual.



Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Reaching for my dreams

I love my name, a very beautiful Christian name that sounds everything to me. I was named after Saint John Chrysostom, a name that means “Golden Mouth”. This makes me different from the rest. Yes, I am different from the rest, a unique blend of disposition. Every person is unique in his ways, and that is what makes him special. I believe I am special. In everything I do, I aim to give my best, for I desire to be the best I can be.

Since I was young, I have dreamed of becoming one of the engineers of National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA). However, some people thought that I should wake up. They believed I would not and could not make it. But I never stop from dreaming and realizing my dream. So, I took up Electronics and Communication Engineering as my first step. There I met dreamers like me who wanted to make something extraordinary in their lives – to be known for their wonder works. As I received my diploma and got my license, I became more dead set in facing the real life.

God has been so good to me that He has placed me in a company of dreamers who work with passion for excellence; an environment with a vision and a mission to help people communicate not tomorrow, but today. Yes, I have been working in a respected telephone company as a Switch Engineer for almost three fruitful years, improving myself with the advancing technologies, for I never forget my dream. I told myself that I am just starting my journey. Five years from now, I see myself as a specialist in this engineering field. As I take the next steps, I always put this in mind: where I am right now and what I have become is because of the people around me. I love to work with people. They give me the inspiration. They need me, want me, criticize me, help me, or sometimes even hurt me. All these inspire me, encourage me, and make me strong. All these contribute to my being. This will lead me to my desire, my dream of NASA.

As it is said, prayers are answered if man perseveres, for God helps those who persevere. I believe I am making the most of everyday and of myself. If I do not make it to NASA, I am still a success as long as I live life to the full. Perhaps God has something better for me. All this that I dream and do serves one purpose – to serve God and mankind.

Attached media :
{rokbox}media/articles/Chrysostom_dreams.jpg{/rokbox}

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Your Tongue, My Tongue

【聖徒節與謀殺案第1回】不一樣的戰士。

十月二十七日星期日.康波村

莉莎.費雪喜歡打獵。
她愛圍獵,眼看著獵物驚恐地感覺到死亡逼近,勝利的顫動傳上脊柱。
她準備好了,只要等。獵物藏匿暗處,時間一分一秒地過,有時,牠們甚至粗暴地反撲。給予獵物致命的一擊後,是陣陣暈眩與飄然,沒有什麼,沒有什麼可以取代這樣的感覺。
莉莎.費雪喜歡打獵,這個年輕的少女追逐風險。
獵物越大,圍獵越使她興奮。
今晚,獵物大得驚人。
時空不一樣的話,莉莎.費雪應該會是個戰士。
這輩子,她選擇當金融顧問。


「這樣的話,您的資金就保住了。您的資本將原原本本地還給您,而且只要股票指數上揚,您還可以獲利。當然囉,您不必煩惱任何課稅的問題。」
莉莎剛說完投資建議的結論。她把資料都攤放在矮几上。
她只需要等。
莉莎是位年輕的女性,到這裡已經講了一個多小時的話。她望著客廳,乳白色大理石客廳內錯落著雪花石方形尖碑,水晶的亮澤,過時的符碼,顯示著主人的尊榮與高貴。
她專注地看著。
她經心說服過後,感覺到獵物伸出脖子,心悅誠服地等待最後一擊。
莉莎如果對老闆描述這個畫面,想起老闆的表情不禁微笑了起來,那位思想正統的代書。
瑪麗.安琪的聲音把她拉回現實。
「嗯,這項產品的確很美。」她說:「而且有保障。」
莉莎對這份讚美點點頭,又說:「這是一項很好的投資,只要把資金放到盧森堡,這樣就可以免稅。」
再來附贈二十分鐘的講解。兄妹很認真地聽著。
達希崗第家族。
半個縣區都是他們家的。貴族。高貴的達希崗第家族。高高在上。


瑪麗.安琪儘管過了五十幾歲,在整個科西嘉,大家還是公認她是一位很漂亮的女人。年紀為她增添了幾公斤,卻無法在圓潤的臉龐上留下痕跡;透亮的肌膚,逃過滿臉皺紋的命運。瑪麗.安琪被歸類為秋日的花,褐髮,靜謐,而且神祕。
這個女人不管在任何場合都彬彬有禮,對敵人微笑,從不透露任何心思。二十年來,家傳的鋸木廠,是南科西嘉的主要產業,她是雇主。
她沒結婚,沒聽說過她的情人,或是她對誰有好感,除了她的姪女。大家說她對姪女有份情,把她養大,而且沒有得到哥哥任何經濟援助,或是教養上的支援。
莉莎從沒見過瑪麗.安琪的鬆懈時刻。瑪麗.安琪接待她的時候,總是一襲黑。沒見過她穿單品上衣,就像隨時為島上眾多的居民而穿一樣。一襲黑,從來不變。但都是名牌,普拉達(Prada),聖羅蘭,香奈兒。點綴著白金。瑪麗.安琪很少吐露真心話,不過她還是建議莉莎少用金色為妙。太俗艷。典型瑪麗.安琪的行事作風。自從莉莎拜訪他們,準備各個交易事項以來,這是她唯一不吝惜說出的內心話,她早在金色港灣說出關於審美的內心話。


莉莎發現自己墜入白夢。這是危險的訊號。這位年輕女子明瞭這般鬆懈的狀態,會讓即將到手的勝利瞬間潰敗,連呼救都來不及。她得緊緊跟好才行,莉莎抓住瑪麗.安琪的最後一句話:
「請容許我這麼問,您如何確保稅務機關不會找我們麻煩呢?」
「我們和以前使用的系統相同。」莉莎趕緊答道:「對於增修和更動的部份,過幾天盧森堡銀行會把資料寄過來,這樣您就可以建立您所希望的運作系統。」
「這樣的話,我想我們應該可以簽字。皮耶.保羅,你覺得怎樣?」瑪麗.安琪轉過頭對她哥哥說。
哥哥。皮耶.保羅.達希崗第(Pierre-Paul d’Arigenti)。
他個子很高,高過一般科西嘉人的身材。儀表多於聰穎,點出他政治生涯的特色。儀表、關係、人脈是科西嘉貴族的延續。其他的,沒什麼與眾不同。高雅的小鬍子,灰白頭髮梳到腦後。眼珠深沉,轉動靈活,貪得無厭。他喜歡當獵食者,他活在臣民賜與的榮耀與卑身屈膝當中。他喜歡市政府金色大廳的接待活動,還有勳章,關起門來的小圈圈偶爾交換一點想法,分享同在一起的喜悅,排擠桃花心木門外另一邊的壞人。
他不喜歡今晚的聚會。他覺得自己像極了自動送上門的獵物,心中的憤意難以平息。他有點責怪這個小費雪,她對瑪麗.安琪有問必答,過於服貼。
「這一切就端視我們對費雪小姐的信任。」他毫不掩飾地表示心中的敵意。
「請原諒他。平日他不是這樣的。您知道,政治嘛…」
莉莎.費雪展現默契微笑著。瑪麗.安琪又說:
「嗯,這樣吧。費雪小姐,您收到資料以後,請來找我們。一定再來這裡喝杯茶。對於今晚的招待,我們禮數不週,請見諒。我們應該請您吃晚餐。還請您找個禮拜天晚上來這裡一趟。時間上,就和今天同樣晚吧。」
「夫人,對我來說,低調是工作的美德。」
瑪麗.安琪點了點頭。
「您知我明就好了。謝謝您。」城堡女主人說。
皮耶.保羅咕噥了幾句。瑪麗.安琪陪莉莎出去。回來時,她只是表示說:「你怎麼這麼粗魯啊。小費雪,她多迷人。說真的,你應該表現得優雅一點。」
皮耶.保羅無心再釋出任何善意。他又嘟噥了幾句聽不清楚的話。兄妹倆一起上樓,他睡在綠房,她睡在朝南的房間,她稱它為亮房。瑪麗.安琪就是這樣,身穿一襲黑,卻喜愛透亮和純白。
皮耶.保羅回到房間,在四柱床幔旁,打開冰箱,為自己倒了杯茴香酒。這樣他才睡得著。皮耶.保羅不喜歡今晚的聚會。
夜,十月底的夜,夜幕已降。空氣中聞得出冬天的味道,牆上淌著濕氣。路上濕滑,光線灰溶,讓人悶累。樹木變得乾硬,屋舍的粗塗灰泥層縮實。一吋一吋地縮。屋牆的裂縫,殘留著灰色小石頭,在驟雨後一閃一閃,宛如貼著肉身的骨頭在閃光。花崗岩骨頭。
莉莎把檔案抱在胸前,想讓自己暖和一些。莉莎在這個村落過了一個冬天,她希望回盧森堡前不要在這裡過冬。這並不是因為康波冷。每年雪下不到兩三次,即使下了,白天就融了。但是,除了冷,路途上的風雨伴人渡過整個冬天。
莉莎覺得科西嘉兩種冬天並存:晴朗的白天,溫潤的沿岸慵懶地沐浴在金色陽光下;島內反而是大陸型氣候,濕氣與寒氣直透最厚的外套。
這時,山口結冰,路面結霜。下午過半以後,最好少去沿岸或是阿雅修附近。夜來了,旅人就被判回到村莊的住處。
《住處還是監獄?》莉莎問自己。
康波是怎樣的村!四百個居民,四百個聾人。她來了以後,很想試著交朋友,不過除了生意上客氣的往來,她總是撞在無聲牆上。對此她倒是不頑固。莉莎.費雪不打算採行解凍政策,因為她不怎麼想在這個刻薄的地方久住。不過,工作倒是很有勁,交易可觀,她讚賞不過。
她規劃自己白天的上班模式,下午過半後回到博蒂修的住處。她的雇主,村莊的代書接受她的提議。若他拒絕,就無法得到她的好回饋。
今晚,她得破例。她比往常留得晚。
今晚,今晚不同,是為了達希崗第家族…


她快步走,資料抱在胸前,紅色大衣太緊了,她覺得煩。選穿這件紅色大衣實在過於愚蠢。這一切都是為了讓達希崗第家留下好印象。夜晚村中沒什麼車子,趁此機會走在馬路中央。一片寂靜裡,她的高跟鞋在冰冷的石板路上步步響著。
她停在郵局門前,把一封信投到郵筒裡,然後啟程從高處下坡。她來到橋旁邊。橋的那頭,立著一個小村莊,叫做低城,整條省道穿越低城而過。代書事務所就在那邊,莉莎的車停在那裡。
莉莎走上橋時,發覺有一個身影,倚在生鏽的鐵欄杆前。
這位年輕女子認得這個看著下方河流的側影。她立直身子,說道:
「我能和您談談嗎?」

附加的多媒體:
{rokbox}media/articles/corse_001.jpg{/rokbox}

Friday, 02 January 2009

捕捉梦想的羽翼

在台湾以「飞羽摄影」享有盛名的「素兰阿嬷」,正如许多传统主妇,在刚卸下家计重担时,除了帮儿子带小孩,也曾进出股市。后来,她不仅开始学英文,更圆了过去悄然埋藏的摄影梦。如今的她,尽管听力消退,但仍持续拍照,也加紧脚步习画,并热衷学习电脑影像处理。请聆听这位爱鸟阿嬷与她的长子邱铭源,在点滴回忆与朗朗笑声中,分享他们动人的「鸟故事」!请记得打开电脑的音量。

陈文怡 采访

-1-
人籁:请邱妈妈先回忆一下,您以前在照相馆当学徒时,有没有发生过什么有趣的事?

兰:嗯,还好啦,就是有时候帮人家拍照啊。(笑)

人籁:嗯?您那时候会帮人家拍照吗?

兰:有。那时候是在室内,都要打灯,而且那时是靠人工架灯。

人籁:所以您那时候就开始用相机拍照了吗?

兰:对,可是是用照相馆的那种相机。

人籁:是很大、有布罩著的那种?

兰:对。

人籁:那时候怎么想到去照相馆当学徒?是您自己想去照相馆当学徒?还是家里帮你选的?

兰:是我自己选的。

人籁:真的吗?

兰:因为我爸爸是种田的嘛,他们都不管我们的事,而且因为在乡下耕田,不知道外面的事,要自己选择。

人籁:那您怎么会那时候就选择到照相馆当学徒?

兰:我刚开始也不是当照相馆学徒,原先是学美发。

人籁:啊?您那时候有学美发?

兰:有,有学美发。但学了一段时间,不感兴趣(笑),就再看报纸,看人家在徵照相馆学徒,就去应徵。(笑)

-2-

源:我解释一下。拍鸟的镜头现在大概都定焦的,画质会比较好。

源:拍鸟要很有耐心,因为你都是要定点跟,就是说要放脚架。你说你要拿著600mm这样到处追,通常都是去拍鸟的人后来都要追鸟报,掌握得很好,然后就是等。

人籁:邱妈妈您从小就很有耐心吗?因为拍鸟要很有耐心,就像刚刚邱先生说的,那您从小就很有耐心吗?

兰:耐心喔?是拍鸟才开始学耐心的。
-----------------------------------------------
更多内容,请见【人籁论辨月刊第56期,2009年1月】

附加的多媒体:

{rokbox size=|544 384|thumb=|images/slideshow_cn.jpg|}media/articles/vielleusse_lusulang.swf{/rokbox}

Help us!

Help us keep the content of eRenlai free: take five minutes to make a donation

AMOUNT: 

Join our FB Group

Browse by Date

« May 2019 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

We have 2472 guests and no members online