Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Monday, 29 January 2007
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 07:48

界线

耶诞节过去了,新年过去了,现在旧历年的新年又来了。迎新送旧,一年又一年。小朋友等不及长大,总希望新年快点来、快点来。青少年学生,等不及大学的恋爱快点来、快点来。有了心仪的对象,又希望结婚的日子快点来、快点来。
结了婚以后,才发现日子怎么没有不一样、怎么没有不一样?等到过了三十岁,都想著生日不要来、不要来!人到了中年,只希望自己永远二十岁…等到当了爷爷,又不禁期盼孙子快点长大、快点长大。
乡界、县界与国界标示了地理上的界线,太平洋上国际换日线是时间的界线。随著日子的推移,使得我们有了等待前与等待后的心情。没有越过界线的,总怀著满心的期待,想要踮高脚尖看看那一边到底是怎样的风光?越过界线的,又会回望那一边,当年的事迹有如冻结的美景历历在目。当年的事离我们比较近,要接受自己年纪发生的事反而离我们比较远。
拥有前和拥有后也有一道界线。拥有前烦脑自己落寞、飘泊、不安定,拥有后担心会失去自由、无法负荷、牵绊不完。以前满心憧憬预售屋大楼,却不知道在造型典雅的密气窗后,有的屋主无力负担一年三、四万元的管理费,积欠了几个月都缴不出来;有人结婚后苦水满腹,可是没结过婚的人总是不懂、总是不懂。
有两种人会站在界线上,一种人是懂得平心看待的人。他懂得看待越界前与越界后的惆怅,也懂得欣赏越界前后的风光;他愿意面对越界前的空虚感,也愿意面对越界后的责任感。另外一种人是逃避的人,他不愿意回顾2006,也不想面对2007。他怪来怪去,界线这一边与那一边,他都要,也都不要,他永远只能站在界线上。
希望我们的眼界与心界能够平心看待一切,而不是因为抱怨与不满让自己停滞在界线上。在迈向猪年的这一个时机,在酒会、舞会、团圆饭后,不妨给自己一点沉淀的时间:观看过去这一年自己拥有了些什么,并准备迎接未来的一年,了解自己又将失去些什么。良知会数落我们自己的恶,而不是一味指责自己因为他人而越界或是越不了界。良知也会鼓励我们勇敢活下去,不管是越界前,还是越界后——这样人间才有福气。

附加的多媒体:
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007 07:44

印度最有人缘的生意人

他亮出那明朗灿烂的微笑时,牙齿所闪烁的光泽一如骄傲伸展的手中所展示的珍珠。他的名字叫哈金(Hakim)。在印度第六大城海德拉巴(Hyderabad)令人印象深刻的史迹查米纳(Charminar)一带,他可能是最好的生意人。海德拉巴是印度安达拉邦(Andra Pradesh)的首府,当地有75%的人口都很贫困。而哈金只有八岁大。
海德拉巴以钻石和珍珠闻名,哈金则利用此一名声,贩售仿珠给游客来赚钱。他拿给我一串珍珠,开价一美元。我婉拒的时候他反而笑得更开,将珍珠举得更高、更靠近我的脸。他明亮的双眼始终与我视线相交,而他不断地恳求:「买我的珍珠。」
我蹲下来跟他聊天,问他的名字,试著以语言、表情、手势来跟他沟通。哈金尽力以他仅知的几个英文字回应我,笑得更加开朗,而且一直在我眼前摇晃那串珍珠。他燃烧的双眼和满溢的热诚终于软化了我,而我付了一美元买下一串珍珠。
他马上又展开另一波攻势要卖我第二串,这次要价只有一半!我叫我的同伴过来,他们也很快就为哈金所掳获,开始买他的珍珠。街上的其他小贩看他如此成功,都皱起眉头发牢骚,试著要把他赶走,但微笑哈金可不会让步!
他也是个很有道德的生意人。他的销售行为完全透明。我们问他每串珍珠花多少钱买来,他坦白告诉我们「五卢比」或「十一美分」!所以他在我们身上获利甚丰。对此他显然很骄傲,显然也信任我们能够了解他的处境。哈金多数的珍珠都以十到二十卢比卖给当地游客,通常一天也不过赚个一美元。而今天当然是他的幸运日。
出于感激(又或许是他的商业直觉?),哈金打算以二十卢比把剩下的珍珠都卖给我们,多做几桩生意。之后他把价格降到十卢比。最后他把剩下的珍珠全都以成本价卖给我们!
到这个时候,所有人都喜爱哈金,也都称赞他(其他的小贩例外)。我们手中串串的廉价珍珠让我们忘不了与这八岁机智小孩的短暂邂逅,这是我们对海德拉巴的珍贵回忆。小哈金有著不屈不挠的精神,因此能在印度最穷困的邦国生存;即使我们离开了这个地方,内心感触的波浪还是一波一波涌来。

附加的多媒体:
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007 07:42

界線

耶誕節過去了,新年過去了,現在舊曆年的新年又來了。迎新送舊,一年又一年。小朋友等不及長大,總希望新年快點來、快點來。青少年學生,等不及大學的戀愛快點來、快點來。有了心儀的對象,又希望結婚的日子快點來、快點來。
結了婚以後,才發現日子怎麼沒有不一樣、怎麼沒有不一樣?等到過了三十歲,都想著生日不要來、不要來!人到了中年,只希望自己永遠二十歲…等到當了爺爺,又不禁期盼孫子快點長大、快點長大。
鄉界、縣界與國界標示了地理上的界線,太平洋上國際換日線是時間的界線。隨著日子的推移,使得我們有了等待前與等待後的心情。沒有越過界線的,總懷著滿心的期待,想要踮高腳尖看看那一邊到底是怎樣的風光?越過界線的,又會回望那一邊,當年的事蹟有如凍結的美景歷歷在目。當年的事離我們比較近,要接受自己年紀發生的事反而離我們比較遠。
擁有前和擁有後也有一道界線。擁有前煩腦自己落寞、飄泊、不安定,擁有後擔心會失去自由、無法負荷、牽絆不完。以前滿心憧憬預售屋大樓,卻不知道在造型典雅的密氣窗後,有的屋主無力負擔一年三、四萬元的管理費,積欠了幾個月都繳不出來;有人結婚後苦水滿腹,可是沒結過婚的人總是不懂、總是不懂。
有兩種人會站在界線上,一種人是懂得平心看待的人。他懂得看待越界前與越界後的惆悵,也懂得欣賞越界前後的風光;他願意面對越界前的空虛感,也願意面對越界後的責任感。另外一種人是逃避的人,他不願意回顧2006,也不想面對2007。他怪來怪去,界線這一邊與那一邊,他都要,也都不要,他永遠只能站在界線上。
希望我們的眼界與心界能夠平心看待一切,而不是因為抱怨與不滿讓自己停滯在界線上。在邁向豬年的這一個時機,在酒會、舞會、團圓飯後,不妨給自己一點沉澱的時間:觀看過去這一年自己擁有了些什麼,並準備迎接未來的一年,瞭解自己又將失去些什麼。良知會數落我們自己的惡,而不是一味指責自己因為他人而越界或是越不了界。良知也會鼓勵我們勇敢活下去,不管是越界前,還是越界後——這樣人間才有福氣。

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我要訂人籟

附加的多媒體:
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007 07:40

印度最有人緣的生意人

他亮出那明朗燦爛的微笑時,牙齒所閃爍的光澤一如驕傲伸展的手中所展示的珍珠。他的名字叫哈金(Hakim)。在印度第六大城海德拉巴(Hyderabad)令人印象深刻的史蹟查米納(Charminar)一帶,他可能是最好的生意人。海德拉巴是印度安達拉邦(Andra Pradesh)的首府,當地有75%的人口都很貧困。而哈金只有八歲大。
海德拉巴以鑽石和珍珠聞名,哈金則利用此一名聲,販售仿珠給遊客來賺錢。他拿給我一串珍珠,開價一美元。我婉拒的時候他反而笑得更開,將珍珠舉得更高、更靠近我的臉。他明亮的雙眼始終與我視線相交,而他不斷地懇求:「買我的珍珠。」
我蹲下來跟他聊天,問他的名字,試著以語言、表情、手勢來跟他溝通。哈金盡力以他僅知的幾個英文字回應我,笑得更加開朗,而且一直在我眼前搖晃那串珍珠。他燃燒的雙眼和滿溢的熱誠終於軟化了我,而我付了一美元買下一串珍珠。
他馬上又展開另一波攻勢要賣我第二串,這次要價只有一半!我叫我的同伴過來,他們也很快就為哈金所擄獲,開始買他的珍珠。街上的其他小販看他如此成功,都皺起眉頭發牢騷,試著要把他趕走,但微笑哈金可不會讓步!
他也是個很有道德的生意人。他的銷售行為完全透明。我們問他每串珍珠花多少錢買來,他坦白告訴我們「五盧比」或「十一美分」!所以他在我們身上獲利甚豐。對此他顯然很驕傲,顯然也信任我們能夠了解他的處境。哈金多數的珍珠都以十到二十盧比賣給當地遊客,通常一天也不過賺個一美元。而今天當然是他的幸運日。
出於感激(又或許是他的商業直覺?),哈金打算以二十盧比把剩下的珍珠都賣給我們,多做幾樁生意。之後他把價格降到十盧比。最後他把剩下的珍珠全都以成本價賣給我們!
到這個時候,所有人都喜愛哈金,也都稱讚他(其他的小販例外)。我們手中串串的廉價珍珠讓我們忘不了與這八歲機智小孩的短暫邂逅,這是我們對海德拉巴的珍貴回憶。小哈金有著不屈不撓的精神,因此能在印度最窮困的邦國生存;即使我們離開了這個地方,內心感觸的波浪還是一波一波湧來。

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我要訂人籟



Tuesday, 30 January 2007 06:58

Best Businessman in Hyderabad

When he flashes his broad, brilliant smile, his teeth shine with the same luster as the pearls he proudly displays in his outstretched hand. His name is Hakim. He is perhaps the best businessman at Charminar, the impressive city monument in the center of Hyderabad, India’s sixth largest city. Hyderabad is the capital of India’s state of Andra Pradesh where 75% of the population lives in poverty. Hakim is only eight years old.

Hyderabad is famous for its diamonds and pearls, and Hakim capitalizes on this reputation by selling strands of imitation pearls to tourists. He asks me for one U.S. Dollar for a string of pearls. When I decline, he smiles an even wider smile and raises his pearls even higher and closer to my face. His bright eyes never lose contact with mine, and he keeps pleading, “Buy my pearls.”

I squat down and chat with him, learn his name, try to communicate with him through words, expressions, and gestures. Hakim responds as best he can with his few words of English, beams ever wider smiles, and never stops dangling the pearls before my eyes. His burning eyes and overflowing enthusiasm finally wear down my resistance, and I purchase a strand for one dollar.

Immediately, he launches into another pitch for a second strand, this one for half price! I call my companions over, and soon they too are captivated by Hakim and are buying his pearls. Other street hawkers, seeing his success, frown and grumble and try to chase him away, but smiling Hakim will not relent!

Hakim is an ethical businessman, too. His sales practices are completely transparent. When we ask him how much he pays for each strand, he frankly tells us “5 rupees” or about 11 U.S. cents! So he has been making an excellent profit off us. He is clearly proud of this and obviously trusts that we understand his position. Hakim sells most of his pearls to local tourists for 10 to 20 rupees each, and normally earns only about one U.S. dollar a day. Today is definitely his lucky day.

In gratitude (or is it his sharp business instinct?) Hakim offers us the rest of his pearls for 20 rupees and makes a few more sales. Then he reduces the price to 10 rupees; finally, he sells us all the rest at cost!

By now, everyone loves and admires Hakim (except the other hawkers). Our cheap pearls are a guarantee that this brief encounter with a resourceful 8 year old will remain for us a precious memory of Hyderabad. We go away inspired by the indomitable spirit that enables little Hakim to survive in one of India’s poorest states.
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 06:39

From NGO activities to My Inner Journey

An interview with eRenlai Editor Sarina Yeh

"Living in this chaotic world, I try to remind myself every single moment that we should live for the present and offer whatever we can without hesitation." -- Sarina

Renlai: Sarina, you have been involved in NGOs activities all around Asia for quite a while. Could you tell us how it all started?

Sarina: Almost 8 years ago, I decided to take a trip in Vietnam and I ran into a French social worker who was taking care of AIDS patients around Hanoi. I was told by him about many situations in south Asia, which brought up my interest in traveling more. Afterwards, I took another trip in Cambodia and I was looking forward to finding something I could contribute myself. My interest was education but I didn’t want to work for any NGO. I spent every night on the streets to look at people and figure out what I could do there. One night, it was raining, and I eventually found a shop in Phnom Penh run by the director of an orphanage called “Future Light”. Next morning, I visited the orphanage, checked it out on my own, and then decided to get involved with it and tried to find a way to support them.

Renlai: You have been especially active in India and Nepal, and caring there for orphanages. What motivates you in a special way in this range of involvements?

Sarina: I learned a lot from the director of Future Light Orphanage in Cambodia. I remember she told me that she has dedicated herself to the orphans because she came to realize during 10 years in refugee camp how important children are for a country. They have roots! And that was why, no matter how difficult the finance was, the director did a lot of efforts to hire two professors from the Royal Art School to teach kids the traditional dance. She said,"Those who don’t know their own culture are real orphans."
I continued going back to Cambodia for three years and tried my best to promote the silk production made by the widows and big kids living in the orphanage. This was the beginning of my one-person NGO life. And after these experiences, I shifted my focus to Nepal, which is also one of the poorest countries in the world. I can say that I always find something to do when I travel. I don’t like to be a typical tourist. So wherever I go, I always make some efforts to find my own volunteer-job. The first one I did in Nepal was to offer massage I learned from my Chinese doctor to doctors and nurses after finishing their jobs. I did it in a hospital supported by a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. And later on, I was introduced to a local lady who had been taking care of girl orphans. That was how I started my educational project in Nepal. I have been involved with these little girls these years and I especially focus on girls because I know how terrible their lives can be if they don’t have any skill. All kids from poor families can be sold to brothels or factories. This is a very heart-breaking situation to me. So I especially pay attention to poor kids and I hope that they can be treated in a humane way.
During my volunteer life, I have encountered some independent volunteers who work in Nepal and India with similar insight and concept. We believe that every single person can make a change and we also realize how important it is to share or exchange information and experiences. Working for an NGO is not the only way you can contribute yourself to people. To me, sharing all resources plays an essential role. And it is what I call conviction.
Over these 3 years, I have been trying to spend two months a year in Nepal or India for the orphans I got to know there. And the more I stay there, the more I feel how precious it is to be human and how lucky I am. Being capable of giving is an extra gift in life! I am very grateful to those whom I can give a hand for the most beautiful teaching they have given me – being satisfied with whatever I possess.

Renlai: Still, you are not forgetting Taiwan. Taipei remains your place of work, and I know you attach great importance to the international formation of Taiwanese youth. Could you tell us more about your work in Taiwan and what you think Taiwan can contribute to Asia and to the world?

Sarina: I have been working in the non-profit field for ten years. In Taiwan, I especially concentrate on blind kids. I was sad to see them accepting a second-class education. So I tried to create some educational projects for them and also led people to know more about their situation. I love to interact with the so-called handicapped and see how they overcome the obstacles and show us their courage and bravery. I used to bring them to some school to have panel discussion with so-called normal kids. Due to these activities, I came to realize how great if we can always exchange the way we look at the world. Deep and open communication is a platform to understand each other’s differences.
As I said, children are our roots and we need to listen to them and respect what they think about. This is what I always remind all parents I know. The educational system has been changing in Taiwan. The blind have more options when they study now and it’s a very profound step to me. I know Taiwan is not a perfect country but which one can be? The more I travel, the more I feel Taiwan is a good place to live. Many people here are capable of reflecting on their behavior and minds, then trying to swim up the stream and create some alternative ways to live, to teach, to learn and to give. The treasure of Taiwan is the people.
However, I hope our young generation can be more brave and open-minded to go after their own dreams and look at the world with more perspectives. Traveling while doing volunteer job is always a good way to learn about the world and this is what the Asian young generation should try.

Renlai: You are not only what is currently called an “activist”. You are indeed involved in spiritual quest. Is it possible for you to share something about your inner journey?

Sarina: Bingo! I think the way I am is not just because of what I encountered during the past years.
When I was a kid, I saw my father treating people generously and I probably sensed the joy he had so I unconsciously followed up his way. But I didn’t have any conviction when I took any action. Until a few years ago, I ran into Dalai Lama’s teaching in India by accident and what he said was truly engraved in my mind – the true meaning of life is to contribute ourselves to the others. In short, it’s what we call compassion. But the greatest information in that teaching is: we should not be compassionate without wisdom. Then what is wisdom? In Tibetan Buddhism, wisdom means to face the problems. I confront with, deal with them and let them go. So we won’t get affected by the problems or get exhausted and confused by them. If we can be compassionate with wisdom, we doubtlessly can enjoy giving or doing when we do without any expectation, which means we won’t be down if the result is not like what we expect. We will just enjoy what we do and I think it’s a great and fundamental attitude when people are working as social workers.
Besides, I also learned that we sometimes judge what we see because of our huge ego. Without it, life is more peaceful and we can regard everyone equally, which is the foundation of peace-making. So many conflicts occur to us because we look at the world with duality. We lose the insight to see what is happening in the gray zone. I was taught by one Buddhist monk that we need to digest what impermanence is and then we will realize that everything is changing all the time, which is the only truth of life. And we can discover uncountable possibilities of life if we live with this idea.
By the way, I also like the idea of warrior in Tibetan Buddhism, which leads me to break the old pattern of concept about life and to be a braver person with courage. In short, all I learned from the great masters is to give and to live without fear. And this life attitude makes me feel truly joyful when I am able to make those who are suffering relieved.
Living in this chaotic world, I try to remind myself every single moment that we should live for the present and offer whatever we can without hesitation. Since everything is the reflection of our minds so it’s very important to keep our minds simple and pure. Looking at my mind and figuring out the middle way when I deal with what I am doing is my inner journey.

Renlai: And how did you become involved in eRenlai?

Sarina: It’s because of Thibaut. Then I met Benoit and listened to his ideals on how we can make a change by spreading out more positive information. Of course, I was convinced by both of them and became one of the team members.
Due to my experiences in the poor countries, I always feel that we lack real discussions and debates in Asia about many key issues. To carry on the responsibility of media, we need to create more materials which are meaningful and profound. To be honest, I am always curious about how many people feel sick of any magazine which only focuses on gossips or fashion, but I know some of them are definitely looking for something else. Creating a cross-section discussion, sharing what we learned and exchanging the information are the attraction for me to work for eRenlai.

Renlai: What do you think eRenlai can bring to the global community?

Sarina: eRenlai can provide more perspectives on many subjects to the global community and it can make us more aware of what is happening in some areas that local communities are not familiar with. That’s why it’s very crucial for eRenlai to build up extensive networks and encourage every one of them to cover or share the issues occurring in their own regions.

Renlai: In order to build up the network of eRenlai you traveled throughout Mainland China this summer. What struck you in a special way in the people you encountered there?

Sarina: During my trip in China, most of the people I encountered were young and knowledgeable. I am amazed by their dedication to social improvement. As we know, China is becoming a profit-driven society and I am really glad to see some young and talented people taking action with compassion. Of course, they all confront some difficulties and barriers, plus, bureaucracy, but I guess some of them will be finding the solution. To encourage more young people to get involved with social issues, I hope that more experienced experts can contribute their ideals to Mainland China and perk the young’s heads up.

Renlai: You are especially at ease in English and seem to use it preferentially to any other language, including Chinese. Do you think that English can be "globalized" or “asianized” without any problem, or do you sometimes feel that the use of English hinders the surge of a genuine Taiwanese, Chinese or even Asian way of expressing one’s experience? More generally, what does your rich and diverse linguistic background teach you about intercultural communication?

Sarina: It’s hard to answer this question. I get used to speaking English from my working experiences. I haven’t studied abroad but I had many opportunities to interact with foreigners, especially Europeans. I don’t know if English can be globalized or asianized but I can say most of the interesting information I receive is in English, which means this language is the best tool for me to get to know what is happening in the world. Using English gives me the benefit of being able to jump into intercultural communication. But at the same time, I have to say that I have encountered many Asians who can speak fluent English without any idea about cultural or social issues. Or they just lack life experience, so you feel the communication is kind of empty. For me, language is just a quite useful tool. The meaning of communication, however, doesn’t rely on language but on the way you think. Sometimes, I think we can go through language barriers but we can’t cross the different ways we look at the world.
I remember that one pioneer in the development of E-book in Taiwan said: "Even in language, some are so powerful and some are so weak.” Doubtlessly, so far, English is the most powerful and strongest one. It is a truly useful tool to build up the bridge between my cultural background and the western one, and to lead me to understand tremendous subjects and differences among diverse cultures.

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Tuesday, 30 January 2007 05:49

The spiritual roots of action

matrix_lotus_enWhen I was a kid, I saw my father treating people generously and I probably sensed the joy he had in doing so; so I unconsciously followed up his way. But I didn’t have any conviction when I started to involve myself in volunteer work: A few years ago, I ran into Dalai Lama’s teaching in India by accident and what he said truly engraved in my mind – the true meaning of life is to contribute ourselves to many others. In short, it’s what we call compassion. But the greatest information in that teaching is we should not be compassionate without wisdom. Then what is wisdom? In Tibetan Buddhism, wisdom means to face the problems. I am confronted with, deal with them and let them go. So we won’t get affected by the problems or get exhausted and confused by them. If we can be compassionate with wisdom, we doubtlessly can enjoy giving or doing without any expectation, which means we won’t be down if the result is not like what we expect. We will just enjoy what we do and I think it’s a great and fundamental attitude for people acting as social worker.
Besides, I also learned that we sometimes judge what we see because of our huge ego. Without it, life is more peaceful and we can regard everyone equally, which is the foundation of peace-making. So many conflicts occurred to us because we look at the world with duality. We lose the insight to see what is happening in the gray zone. I was taught by one Buddhist monk that we need to digest what impermanence is and then we will realize that everything is changing all the time, which is the only truth of life. And we can discover uncountable possibilities of life if we live with this idea.
I also like the idea of warrior in Tibetan Buddhism, which leads me to break the old pattern of concept about life and to be a braver person with courage. In short, all I learned from the great masters is to give and to live without fear. And this life attitude makes me feel truly joyful when I am able to make those who are suffering relieved.
Living in this chaotic world, I try to remind myself every single moment that we should live for the present and offer whatever we can without hesitation. Since everything is the reflection of our minds so it’s very important to keep our minds simple and pure. This is the way I am trying to lead my inner journey...

 

 

Since the adoption of the 11th Plan in March 2006, China has shown its commitment towards a more sustainable model of development, a model less wasteful of precious resources and more guided by the “harmony” principle, at the social as at the environmental level. By doing so, it also asserts its role as a responsible stakeholder of global governance. The developmental problem encountered by China is not only its own, though it does manifest itself on a larger scale than anywhere else. “Sustainability” has become the common, pressing imperative of international organizations, public powers, international companies, local entrepreneurs and civil societies throughout the world. The magnitude and interconnectedness of the challenge make it impossible to approach it only as a series of technical issues. For sure, technical solutions do need to be devised with regard to problems such as water sanitation, energy conservation, air pollution or protection of biodiversity. At the same time, we need to mobilize cultural resources that help all participants to tackle the challenge with a more acute sense of the issues at stake, thus generating increased inventiveness, boldness and sense of cooperation. The mobilization of cultural resources for nurturing sustainable development - a mobilization achieved through a dialogue on core values, sharing of success stories and exchange of strategic analyses - is exactly what this International Forum, held in two successive locations, aims at facilitating.

Going one step further, it can be asserted that cultural diversity is a necessary component of sustainable development. Cultural diversity provides a society with a toolbox of attitudes vis-à-vis Nature and Humankind that can be used and creatively interpreted according to evolving social and technological changes. A diversified natural environment is more prone to resist the effect of viruses thanks to its superior flexibility; likewise, a diversified cultural environment can better adapt to new economic and social imperatives. Today, cultural dialogue provides societies with accrued cultural resources, provided that quality exchanges and in-depth sharing be privileged. Such dialogue does not only connect national cultures, it also puts together various fields of expertise into a trans-disciplinary framework.

We thus need to develop “knowledge networks” assessing the contribution that each culture and people can offer to sustainable development and world governance as a whole, through intercultural dialogue and cross-fertilization.

This is why the Ricci Institute and other partners will organize in November 2007 the first “Sustainable China International Forum”. The choice of two locations (Shanghai and Chengdu) shows the organizers’ commitment towards enhancing the whole range of China’s resources on the issue and the importance of tackling together the challenges of eastern and western China. This formula will allow the participants to concentrate on “urban water and public health’ issues in Shanghai and on “the relationship between city and countryside” in Chengdu, two major dimensions of sustainability strategies. The eRenlai community will hear more about these events during the coming months and, hopefully, will be a most important component of the “knowledge network” such created.


Since the adoption of the 11th Plan in March 2006, China has shown its commitment towards a more sustainable model of development, a model less wasteful of precious resources and more guided by the “harmony” principle, at the social as at the environmental level. By doing so, it also asserts its role as a responsible stakeholder of global governance. The developmental problem encountered by China is not only its own, though it does manifest itself on a larger scale than anywhere else. “Sustainability” has become the common, pressing imperative of international organizations, public powers, international companies, local entrepreneurs and civil societies throughout the world. The magnitude and interconnectedness of the challenge make it impossible to approach it only as a series of technical issues. For sure, technical solutions do need to be devised with regard to problems such as water sanitation, energy conservation, air pollution or protection of biodiversity. At the same time, we need to mobilize cultural resources that help all participants to tackle the challenge with a more acute sense of the issues at stake, thus generating increased inventiveness, boldness and sense of cooperation. The mobilization of cultural resources for nurturing sustainable development - a mobilization achieved through a dialogue on core values, sharing of success stories and exchange of strategic analyses - is exactly what this International Forum, held in two successive locations, aims at facilitating.

Going one step further, it can be asserted that cultural diversity is a necessary component of sustainable development. Cultural diversity provides a society with a toolbox of attitudes vis-à-vis Nature and Humankind that can be used and creatively interpreted according to evolving social and technological changes. A diversified natural environment is more prone to resist the effect of viruses thanks to its superior flexibility; likewise, a diversified cultural environment can better adapt to new economic and social imperatives. Today, cultural dialogue provides societies with accrued cultural resources, provided that quality exchanges and in-depth sharing be privileged. Such dialogue does not only connect national cultures, it also puts together various fields of expertise into a trans-disciplinary framework.

We thus need to develop “knowledge networks” assessing the contribution that each culture and people can offer to sustainable development and world governance as a whole, through intercultural dialogue and cross-fertilization.

This is why the Ricci Institute and other partners will organize in November 2007 the first “Sustainable China International Forum”. The choice of two locations (Shanghai and Chengdu) shows the organizers’ commitment towards enhancing the whole range of China’s resources on the issue and the importance of tackling together the challenges of eastern and western China. This formula will allow the participants to concentrate on “urban water and public health’ issues in Shanghai and on “the relationship between city and countryside” in Chengdu, two major dimensions of sustainability strategies. The eRenlai community will hear more about these events during the coming months and, hopefully, will be a most important component of the “knowledge network” such created.

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Tuesday, 30 January 2007 02:06

孫大川的山海心靈

【編輯部 整理】

文化是不斷死亡與再生的過程。
因為沒有再生的能量,所以我們恐懼死亡。
今日,我們必須賦予它重新創造的活力。

我的童年
──回顧兒時,心中總有一份安全感,一份認同。


在許多人的印象中,原住民常是自卑的,或在童年難免有遭到歧視的負面經驗。但是,像我同樣出生於戰後一九五○年代、在台東卑南平原長大的原住民孩子,並沒有太深的自卑。至於我母親那一代的原住民,也不會因為身為卑南族或是所謂的「山地人」而感到自卑。
這是因為:當時的漢人之中,儘管有不少人進入高級學校就讀,但文盲的比例仍然相當高;但在一九四五年日本撤退之前,大部分的卑南族人都諳日語,因為在我們族人所居住的平地地區,日本人所推行的日語教育相當普及。而山地原住民如泰雅、布農等族,也有許多年紀大的族人能閱讀日語。
另一個原因是,從日治時期開始,越來越多的漢人因經商失敗等原因,從西部遷徙至台東。當時他們沒有土地,也沒有錢,我們上一輩的族人經常慷慨地提供他們水源、電源,使他們得以漸漸發展,例如現今居於賓朗(Pinaski)部落的漢人,他們的上一代許多都曾接受過我們族人的幫助。
因此,我們這一代的原住民,在童年時期對自身的文化多能認同。這段早年的經驗,對我來說非常重要。不論我後來的生命歷練如何,當我回顧過往童年,心中總有一分安全感,也有一分認同。

語言斷層
──日人撤退後,原住民熟識的語言被硬生生切斷…


大約六十年前,如果原住民能夠繼續使用日文,或許會有不少原住民子弟前往日本留學,然後回台擔任教授。但當一九四五年日人撤退之後,所有日治時期的文獻都被埋葬,這使得原住民花了五十年時間去熟悉的語言突然被迫中斷,更使得原住民對語言的掌握,以及文化的創造力,也都被硬生生地切斷,漸漸成為「失語的民族」。
例如我的舅舅們,當年有畢業於台灣師範學校的,也有幾人擔任學校的校長,他們的日文都非常好。猶記得民國四十六年,我大姐將到師大唸書時,我舅舅還寫了一首日文詩歡送她。但是一九四五年後,我舅舅那一代的原住民卻常因為不會說國語而受辱,例如他當年擔任賓朗國小校長,在朝會講話時還是用日語,很是尷尬…
我常想,上一代的原住民如果沒有碰到這些問題,所謂的「原住民文學」一定會提早出現,甚至大放光采…

原漢差距
──台灣經濟起飛的階段,也正是原住民土地流失最快速的時期。


民國五十年至六十年間,是原住民逐漸落入邊緣處境的時期。那時,台灣開始出現許多加工出口區,需要大量的勞工,許多原住民紛紛來到西部謀生,部落人口嚴重外流,只剩下老人,祭典也無法舉行。此一時期,原漢之間的貧富差距也開始變大。從那時起,我開始感覺到自己民族的文化正在逐漸消失,上台北念書時感覺更為強烈。在台灣經濟起飛的階段,卻也是我們部落土地流失最快速的時期,其中以南王部落最為嚴重,本來卑南平原都是他們的土地。另外例如馬蘭,原是台東阿美族的重鎮,二十年當中土地全失,如今只得遷往知本海邊的公路附近居住。
隨著原漢貧富差距擴大,一般人對原住民的扭曲及誤解也就更深,例如,許多漢人都認為原住民是酗酒的民族。我的父執輩雖然愛喝酒,但這並非他所願,而是因為部落的文化、倫理、社會結構已經瓦解,造成內部安定力不足,使得族人的生活沒有方向感。所以,酗酒並不是原住民文化本質的一部分,而是在社會快速變遷之下,所帶來的社會適應問題或心理問題。

以筆為刄
──汲取漢文化的養分,以面對漢文化的挑戰。


我從初中時期開始,即有意識地努力了解中國文化,這可說是我所採行的「策略」。因為,基於我對自身民族處境的體會,使我一方面認為這許多扭曲的現象乃是基於外人對原住民的誤解;另一方面,我也認為我們有責任重新瞭解真相。
從小學、初中開始,我的功課一向很好,比起一般的漢人都好,尤其是寫文章方面。我在小學時所寫的作文,連老師看了都感動不已,還曾經邊念邊掉淚。初中時代,五四時期大師們的作品,我已經都讀過,並且深受感動。高中時,我就讀恆毅中學(沈清松、傅佩榮都是比我高幾屆的學長),當時的我,在漢文化與漢語運用方面已經非常有自信,所以並不覺得受到歧視,反而我常認為同學們對漢學的認識比我「差很多」。
一直到大學時代,我都維持大量閱讀的習慣。另外我更發現,當我用部落的經驗去理解《詩經》、《左傳》、《論語》的內容時,往往會比漢代經學與宋明理學家的解釋還要來得「可愛」,而且更容易理解。
有人曾揶揄我,說我用中文寫文章,顯然是「漢化太深」。事實上,漢族反而才是真正最需要界定的民族:在中華民族當中,所有不知自己身為何族的人,都可以說自己是漢族。所以,「漢」其實是被逐漸形塑出來的概念,漢語亦復如此。例如在漢代及魏晉南北朝,開始有印度語的進入;到了唐朝,又有大量的西域文字加入漢語;在清朝小說如《紅樓夢》中,更可見到不少滿洲話;近代以來中國的學術用語,則幾乎都是借自日語,例如「哲學」一詞。語言本身就是活的,在不同的時空脈絡中不斷累積與變化。當今的原住民文學雖是用漢文書寫,但由於使用了一些新的語彙,甚至加上了一些新的元素,也創造出不同的「漢語」。
有了這樣的認知之後,當別人說我「漢化太深」,我就不以為意了。相反地,我變得較有勇氣去面對漢文化對我們的挑戰,有較大的自由與主流社會「周旋」,而不致被一般的漢人意識型態所捆綁。

負笈求學
──在歐洲的那段期間,是我後半生方向的轉捩點。


負笈比利時求學時期,我經歷了一段劇烈的改變,那是我釐清自己後半生方向的一個轉折點,也促使我決定回到捍衛原住民文化的崗位上。當時,我認識了一些來自中東、非洲、中國及香港的朋友,他們使我發現:我對於中國和世界的資訊,其實有很多是錯誤的。同時,也使我開始對強權威脅下的少數族群處境更加關注。
例如,非洲有許多部落民族,他們原本並不是一個國家,歐洲國家進入非洲之後,卻將他們硬生生地劃分成一個個的國家。等歐洲勢力走了以後,有些國家的狀況尚能控制,無法控制的國家就發生互相殘殺的慘劇。我當時思考了很多,覺得應該找出一個實踐的方法。於是,當我在三十六歲回到台灣之後,就開始持續地寫文章。而且除了一般政論之外,幾乎沒有離開過原住民的主題。我的企圖是,想要帶動一群原住民進入書寫的世界。就如同我先前所提及的,上一代的原住民花了五十年的時間熟悉日語,正要開始書寫之際,卻被硬生生地切斷。而我們這一代的原住民,從小接受的是漢語教育,應該已經累積了足夠的漢語書寫能力。透過書寫,我們可以表達自己,也可藉此檢討我們與漢民族社會之間的關係。

山服經驗
──只要邀請,我就參與,我想知道大學生如何看待原住民。


我於民國七十七年春天回到台灣,秋天就到東吳大學教哲學,也在同年接下了東吳大學山服團的指導工作。每逢寒暑假,我帶著學生到卓溪、卓青、崙山及太平,連續帶了五年。當時大部分的大學都有山服隊,只要他們邀請,我都會參與,因為我很想了解大學生是如何看待原住民的。這些山服隊的大學生充滿了熱情,但也曾經面臨是否應該解散的論辯,當時台大原住民學生的討論最為激烈,他們認為部落的主體性不應該被山服隊所干擾。
當時,我自己正在蒐集原住民口傳文學,因此對山服隊還有另一個期望。例如每年他們到部落服務時,可以為部落留下攝影或採訪錄音的記錄,而不只是為自己拍照留念。如此,經過十多年的累積,就可以保留許多部落變遷的影像、聲音記錄。我認為,「把歷史留給部落」是很重要的,因為歷史變得太快。這樣的方式,其實也有助於原住民社區意識、部落意識的凝結。不過我的教導似乎不太成功,最近幾年,我請耕莘山學團整理他們的照片,卻發現成果相當有限,因為他們所拍攝的多半還是自己。

黃昏警語
──它是一項事實,也是置之死地而後生的手段。


早在大約民國七十年我接受的一次採訪中,就已經提到黃昏一詞,談台灣原住民的「黃昏經驗」。一方面,我認為這是一項事實;另一方面則有置之死地而後生的用意,想以強烈的語氣來引起大家的危機感。直到二十多年後的今日,我仍然抱持同樣的看法。
為了建立一個原住民文化(學)的平台,我在民國八十二年創辦了《山海文化》雜誌。當時,《山海文化》成為原住民文學的重要凝聚點,例如夏曼‧藍波安、瓦歷斯‧諾幹、撒可努這些原住民作家,以及一些原住民藝術家,經常在我們的雜誌社聚集。到了第十期之後,原住民的作者越來越多。近五年來,我們也持續舉辦原住民文學獎,最近還發行了給青少年閱讀的《Ho Hai Yan,台灣原Young》雜誌,如今已進入第八期。
事實上,日本一直很關注台灣原住民文學的發展,十餘年來,他們幾乎每年來台訪問,而且認識每一位原住民作家,但台灣的文學研究者卻不知在何處,從來沒有與我們有任何接觸。在這段期間裡,日本翻譯了五卷原住民文學,目前還有一個三年計畫,我與他們一起進行規劃的工作。這已成為台灣原住民文化的新現象,我在其中也投入不少心力。
我對自己的期許是:盡可能把日治時期到現今的原住民文獻、文化資產記錄保存下來。目前,我參與一個四年計畫,是要將原住民的祭儀文學逐字逐句翻譯,用羅馬拼音或國際音標寫出,並加以漢語對照,成為口傳文學的一部分;同時我也在進行《原住民歷史語言文化大辭典》的編纂工作。

法政體制
──從中央到地方,它是原住民與主流社會互動的機制。


民國八十五年,行政院正式成立「原住民族委員會」(以下簡稱原民會),我擔任副主委一職,開始進行原住民法政體制建構的工作,即是從法律、行政、制度上,從中央到地方層級,建立一個原住民與主流社會互動的機制。到了民國八十九年,此一機制已經確立。
在法律方面,第一個與原住民相關的法律是原民會的組織條例,在它之後,陸續有許多原住民相關的法律建立,包括「原住民族教育法」、「原住民族工作權保障法」等等。因此,在近幾十年來,原住民事務在法政方面的進展,是很值得注意的。

學術發展
──從人類學的範疇,成為跨領域的學術社群。

Matrix_TachuanSun_03
在原住民學術方面,也有可觀的進展。因為過去的原住民研究大多局限在人類學領域,但自從民國七○、八○年代以來,在文學、法律、政治、教育、社會、心理,甚至醫療方面,都陸續有人加入研究的行列,使原住民研究有了跨領域的面向,而藉由學術研究而累積的原住民面貌,也較具有整體性的意義。各大學也紛紛成立了台灣文學系所,這些對原住民學術研究成果的累積都有所助益。
我向來認為,原住民的發展不能與學術脫節。民國八十九年,國立東華大學正式成立台灣第一所「民族學院」,設有族群關係與文化研究所、民族發展研究所、民族藝術研究所、民族文化學系及民族語言與傳播學系,共有三個研究所,兩個學系。我目前本身主持民族語言傳播學系,以及民族發展研究所。在師資方面,目前已有二十多位老師,其領域涵蓋很廣,包括心理學、宗教學、語言學、傳播學、文學、法政、空間、地理、文化研究等等。相信在學術環境漸漸穩定之後,這個學術社群會有更頻繁、更好的互動。
在族語傳承方面,我們一直希望語傳系能研發一套給成人、外國人、大學生學習族語的學程與教材,因為我認為,語傳系負有這一項傳承族語的責任。雖然校方並不支持,但我一直很堅持。而且,學術研究不應該是關在學院裡,如何和部落及民間團體合作,甚至讓研究生承擔一部分部落復振的任務,都是很重要的。但這幾年,在尋求校方支持以及和原民會的合作方面,卻走得相當辛苦。

面對死亡
──你的卑南,已經和我的不一樣了…


記得我母親九十歲生日時,我們幫她拍了一張照片。照片裡,一群八十多歲的老人家聚在一起,吟唱著一種很古老的卑南調子,一邊吟唱一邊填詞,大家唱著、笑著。我用卑南話向我母親說:我們這一代的人,大概沒有辦法再用你們這樣的方式表達友誼了!母親回答:對啊,你們怎能了解?你們的時代已經變了,別以為你一直在從事卑南族的研究,你的卑南族與我的卑南族不一樣。
的確,文化一直不斷地在死亡、再生、死亡、再生…。過去,我們害怕原住民文化會失落,因為沒有再生的能量,沒有創造的活力。如今,我們必須給它重新創造的活力,但那畢竟是新的東西,和原來的已經不同。
這也就是說,原住民族的文化有些已經死去。我母親那一代的卑南族,有許多地方已經死去,從母親那一輩的身上,我有幸得見它的一點點餘暉。
當然,若從我先前所提到的,原住民事務在各方面的進展來看,「黃昏感」似乎不應若以往強烈,原住民似乎走出了一小步,找到了一些創作的新可能性、新立足點。但從我主觀感覺來看,原住民的文化畢竟已經改變了。看看今天的原住民小孩,我從不覺得他們是原住民。這當然不是他們的錯,而是我們有責任竭盡所能,為他們保留、展現一些文化變遷的軌跡。至於他們會不會珍惜?會不會運用?運用到怎樣的程度?說實話,我不知道。
對我而言,黃昏後的黑夜更具美感。

新的隱憂
──無法體會自己必將死亡,所以把自己變成「木乃伊」。


所以,我們是否走過「黃昏」?從主觀感情而言,我有一個非常美的黃昏經驗,而且也能接受原住民進入黑夜的事實。就像看到我母親那一代的人,帶著他們美好的記憶離開。但是,黃昏是否真的已經過去了呢?
客觀地來說,似乎有一種「新的黃昏」在形成。過去的黃昏是外在的壓力,現在的黃昏則是從族群內部來,更加可怕。例如,自從政黨輪替之後,新政府釋出很多的「利多」,但其中有多少是選舉語言?原住民同胞似乎並不關注。當初「原住民族基本法」通過時,大家大肆慶祝,但是,這項基本法其實並不是民族自治,只是把鄉公所的位階提升到縣的層級,仍然受到地方制度以及財稅劃分的限制。這種虛假的民族處境是最可怕的。另外,我在原民會任職時,堅持進行一項六年計畫,預計編出一套九族(當初只有九族)語言的簡易字典,但是我一離開,計畫就中止了。後來,反而開始進行所謂的族語認證。雖然,母語保存的確非常重要,但是如果提倡的方法錯誤,帶來的反而是災難。
另外,執政黨不斷地向原住民釋出美麗的承諾。去年總統大選時,我擔任候選人第二次電視辯論的提問人,當時我曾向陳總統提問:你的「國中之國」是玩真的還是玩假的?若是真的,你如何說服自己的族群?因為這個問題並非總統一人可以決定,必須立法機關通過,更必須整個台灣社會都能夠接受才行。陳總統的答覆,主要是就他所能做的法律形式方面的構想著墨;但以他任內的諸多改革法案無法獲致朝野共識來看,這樣的保證等於沒有答覆我們真正的問題。
這種「新的黃昏」是無解的,或許只能期望下一代。除了需要我們持續努力,台灣本身也要徹底改變。我還是會不斷地寫文章提醒大眾,但這個社會是非理性的。我深深覺得,一個人如果無法體會到自己必然會死亡,就會產生現今的做法:把原住民族變成「木乃伊」,用打針、養胖等各種方式,製造出一個華麗的假象。最糟糕的是,我們的年輕世代竟然相信這個假象!
甚且,這已經不能單從原住民的現象來看,它是台灣整體的病。對於台灣的這種惡質文化,漢族社會應是最重要的反省力量。我認為,台灣需要有一段時間,在內部進行根本的「決戰」,把所有壞的事物徹底揭開,用最醜陋的方式來看所有問題。若不如此,永遠都有虛假的空間在運作,台灣無法徹底改變。

----------------------------
我要訂人籟


Monday, 29 January 2007 10:15

網路與亞洲「同舟世代」

近期美國《新聞週刊》的報導創造了一個新詞──「同舟世代」(We generation),用來描述許多亞洲年輕人的轉變:他們積極參與公眾事務、投身非營利組織與慈善活動,不再一心只想著賺錢。對於環境保護、人道援助、救助孩童與邊緣團體等等的推動,他們都展現了豐沛的創造力與無私的熱忱。從印尼、泰國、尼泊爾到中國大陸,我們都能看到這些年輕人的身影。

對於這個年輕世代的新走向,我們不應過於吹捧。「同舟世代」仍在成形的階段,實際的行動者還是有限。不論在亞洲或全世界,消費主義、個人主義和物質至上主義仍是年輕世代的主流價值。然而,許多年輕人關注的焦點有可能開始從「小我」轉移到「大我」,形塑一種新的歸屬感與群體責任感。果真如此,那真是一個大好消息。

亞洲新興的「同舟世代」有兩個特色。第一個特色同舟世代重視覺醒與有效的行動:年輕人不再依照外在既有的期待來決定「為什麼」或是「做什麼」,他們的行動有的來自對大環境的危機感,有的是與朋友互動後的省思,有的因為發現問題、進而探索。從這個角度來看,這些年輕的行動者比前輩有了更好的落實配備,使得他們的行動更有意義,也更加柔軟:因為只有慷慨是不夠的,還必須具備反省的能力;只有反省是不夠的,還必須將眾人的慷慨與自身的能力轉為有效的行動。

第二個特色是同舟世代懂得運用網際網路「串連」在一起。有的人逃避現實生活,上網追求「第二生命」,但網路也讓真實世界的群體彼此連結,形成「虛擬社群」。從地方到全球,從全球到地方,思考者和行動者使用網路分享心得,凝聚力量;參與者傳播自己的故事與經驗,使得本身參與的草根團體的行動得以擴大層面,發揮更深遠的影響力。

在這股力量向前推進之際,「e人籟」希望扮演推動者與先鋒的角色。在十八個月的籌備過程中,這股亞洲新興的社會文化趨勢是e人籟創立團隊關注的焦點,因為它引導今日亞洲年輕一代的論辨與行動。

《人籟論辨月刊》第35期的專輯分兩個部分來探索這個趨勢:第一部分呈現e人籟的精神、架構以及科技上的新特色,讓創立團隊的成員在這裡他們的想法,並邀請讀者成為e人籟的好朋友。第二個部分反思亞洲網路社群的發展趨勢,例如Web2.0熱潮、網路運動實例的探討,以及非營利組織網路空間的瓶頸與突破之道。

為了迎接人籟/e人籟更廣的讀者群,在第35期專輯中我們第一次將某些文章以中英文雙語發表。華人社會若在人道發展、全球治理及永續發展扮演要角,那麼最大的關鍵就是讓台灣、中國大陸以及其他地區的年輕人有更多的交流。華人社會在邁向這些宏大的目標時,人籟/e人籟期許自己能夠貢獻小小的心力。


我要訂人籟


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