2016年12月29日 星期四

What's Going on in Taitung 3 台東最近發生的事 3

Local news from the past week or so.  If you can read Chinese, I've linked the various news articles below.  這些是上個禮拜左右的新聞.  看懂中文字的讀者可參考以下提供的網址.


A. Is the local news biased?  地區的新聞有偏見嗎?

You know what I'm beginning to notice about the local news?  It's almost overwhelmingly positive.  So what about all the crime, and fraud, and sex that goes on in the rest of Taiwan?  I'm guessing that because Taitung is still very rural, and because the population is smaller, local reporters are afraid of making enemies and/or getting into trouble.  This is really too bad, because a little more truth-telling would benefit everybody. 你知道我開始注意到什麼事嗎?  地區新聞大部分都是正向的.  難道只有其他地方有犯罪行為, 舞弊和色情?  我猜想因是台東還是很鄉下, 人口比較少, 所以記者怕樹敵與惹上麻煩.  這樣很可惜, 因為更多的事實也會讓台東縣的社會更進一步.

B. Local News 地區新聞

1. Taitung County Magistrate Justin Huang led a delegation to Hunan, China, to participate in the Chang Sha Tourism Expo, and also learn about Hunan's satellite TV system.  台東縣長黃健庭帶領幾家旅遊業者前往湖南參加長沙旅遊博覽會, 也參觀學習湖南的廣播電視台.


2. The Taitung County Government's Bureau of Economic Affairs is promoting the "Taitung Quality Goods" label.  As part of this promotional effort, the first store selling these local products opened on December 22.  台東縣政府財政及經濟發展處正推廣 "台東好物" 品牌.  推廣活動包括在12月22日開一家專賣當地商品的商店.

3. Is it too early to worry about the 2018 election?  Probably, but the DPP is already making plans for it.  In 2018 the office of Taitung County Magistrate is up for grabs, and the clock is ticking...  現在太早準備2018年的選舉?  有可能, 可是民進黨已經開始準備了.  那時候的縣長選舉將非常激烈 !


5. The Taitung and Pingtung county governments will soon offer a new type of insurance for those practicing agriculture and aquaculture in Pingtung and Taitung counties.  Agricultural and aquacultural losses during recent typhoons were extensive.  明年台東縣和屏東縣政府可望為台東的農民與屏東的漁民推出一種新的保單, 屏東縣將試辦第一張漁業保單, 臺東也將試辦第一張農業保單. 主要原因是最近農業跟漁業受到的災害很嚴重.

7. The Taitung County Government will have another go at producing "deep sea products" next year.  Due to mismanagement, this heavily-funded project has been something of a disappointment.  明年台東縣政府要重啟深層海水計畫, 因為當初布管錯誤, 這個昂貴的計畫目前還是沒有任何作用.


8. Robert Storey, a prominent local expat, passed away last week.  Mr. Storey authored an edition of Lonely Planet's Taiwan guide.  He will be missed. 台東最有名的外國住民上禮拜過世了.  他是Lonely Planet: Taiwan舊版的作者.  很多人會想念他的.

9. The Taitung Urban and Rural Athletic Association will host its yearly "Bikini Run" in Tai Ma Li on New Year's Day.  Before any of the guys reading this get too excited, remember that it will be cold, and that Taitung is a far cry from Kenting.  Very few of the women there will be wearing bikinis.   台東縣城鄉生活協會將在元旦當日舉辦 "比基尼沙灘路跑."  在男讀者們看到這個消息很興奮時, 也要想想那時候天氣很冷, 而且臺東也不像墾丁,  只有少數的女選手會穿比基尼.


10. A fee will be charged for entrance to Taitung's Forest Park after New Year's Day.  I know I've mentioned it before, but I'm pretty sure that this time it will really happen! 台東森林公園自元旦起開始收費.  我知道我以前寫過這則消息, 但我確信這一次是真的!

11. Taitung is getting its own Mos Burger.  County Magistrate Justin Huang said so on Facebook!  以後台東會有自己的摩斯漢堡店, 黃健庭縣長在臉書上宣布了.


12. The Mainland Chinese market for Taitung's sugar apples and pineapples is thriving.  Representatives from Taitung County recently visited China to discuss further economic cooperation.  台東的鳳梨跟釋迦在大陸市場很受歡迎.  台東的農業代表最近去大陸談更多未來的經濟合作.

13. There was a big landslide in the East Rift Valley, near Jia Na Village.  Residents were very worried, but were later reassured that the slide posed no immediate danger to them.  在台東縱谷加拿部落附近發生大坍方,  那邊的住民很緊張, 可是防災研究中心說不會有立即性危險.

C. National News 國內新聞


1. New restrictions have been placed on the "Taiwan Travel Card."  Many worry about the effect of these restrictions on both the travel industry and the economy at large.  台灣的國旅卡有新的規定.  很多人擔心這些新的規定會影響到台灣的旅遊業與經濟.

2. Tensions continue to mount between Taiwan and Mainland China.  Chinese fighter jets have encroached upon the island's airspace, and the recently constructed aircraft carrier Liaoning has sailed beyond the "first island chain."  To make matters worse, Sao Tome has broken off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of China.  兩岸的關係越來越緊張, 大陸的戰鬥機飛進台灣的領, 還有大陸的遼寧號穿越第一島鏈, 聖多美也與台灣斷交而擁抱中國大陸.

D. Happy New Year! 新年快樂!


1. But let's all of us - Taiwanese, Mainland Chinese, or otherwise - try to have a happy 2017, ok?  但是不管是台灣人, 中國人, 還是其他國家的人, 我們都要過一個快快樂樂的2017, 好嗎?

Related Entries 相關的文章: 

"Vanity of Vanities!  All is Vanity!" 虛空的虛空,凡事都是虛空
Riding from the Li Ji Bridge to Highway 197 從利吉橋騎到197
What's Going On at RT Mart, Carrefour, and PX Mart 大賣場最近發生的事
Riding Around Taitung's Forest Park 在台東森林公園騎單車

2016年12月26日 星期一

"Vanity of Vanities! All is Vanity!" 虛空的虛空,凡事都是虛空


1. Everything is F*&ked 所有的事情都一團亂

Can't find my keys and it's raining outside.  Forgot to set my alarm and I'm running late.  Ten minutes to go.  Nine.  Eight.  下雨天找不到鑰匙.  晚上睡覺前忘記設鬧鐘,   只剩下十分鐘了!  九分鐘......  八分鐘......

And I'm looking in the mirror thinking about how many more gray hairs I have, and how I'm not getting any younger.  I'm thinking that life after this point will be full of MORE days in which I'm late for work, MORE days of riding to work in the rain, and MORE days full of classes which are full of kids who are going mental. 看著鏡中的自己, 想著自己到底有多少白頭髮, 我已不再年輕.  以後我的人生還會有許多上班遲到的日子,也會有許多下雨天騎單車上班的日子, 也會有很多是上課時小朋友調皮搗蛋的日子.

On my way downstairs, I hear some lady complaining that she lost her job.  And the security guard is complaining about other people he knows, who are also losing their jobs.  And on TV (behind the security guard), the news is reporting on the economy, and I see a line on a graph that's pointing down, down, down.  我下樓的時候聽到一位小姐說她被開除了.  管理員也說他有很多朋友也失去工作.  在管理員後面的電視正播著經濟新聞, 我看到新聞圖表上的那條線的箭頭往下走
! 往下! 再往下!

I bicycle to work in the rain, and I'm thinking about all the stupid things that world leaders have been saying and doing, and about how the oceans are full of plastic, and about how the world is growing hotter every day.  I'm worried about my job.  I'm worried about my family.  And I'm worried about my money.  我下雨天騎單車上班, 路上想著世界上的領導者們最近說的愚蠢的話, 也想著海洋中充滿了塑膠, 和每一天我們的世界都在變暖的事.  我也擔心我的工作,  擔心我的家庭和我的錢.

It's Monday, it's cold, and it's dark.  Life is full of danger and uncertainty, and everything is getting worse.  今天是一個很冷很黑暗的禮拜一.  人生充滿著危險與不確定性.  所有的事越來越糟糕.


2. It's Getting Better All the Time 人越來越美好

Slept well last night and woke up before the alarm.  Plenty of time to make coffee and watch a football game before work.  昨天晚上睡得很好, 在鬧鐘還沒出聲前就已經起床了.  還有空在上班前泡咖啡和看美式足球.

And I'm looking in the mirror thinking that I don't look too bad for my age, and that I have many good years ahead of me.  I'm thinking that life after this point will be full of MORE days on which I see the sun come up behind the mountains, MORE days on which I talk with friends, and MORE days in which I eat good food, and visit new places.  看著鏡子裡的自己覺得我看起來還很年輕, 我的未來充滿著美好.  我的人生將來會充滿著看太陽從山的那一邊升起的日子, 還有跟朋友聊天的日子, 和充滿吃好料理和拜訪新地方的時間.

On my way downstairs, the guy from the fifth floor enters the elevator.  He talks about what he'll do on Chinese New Year, and he asks me about my plans.  He shows me pictures of his hometown, and the pictures are full of laughing, smiling people.  "My son just got a new job," he says, and things are looking up, up, up.  我下樓的時候, 有個住五樓的先生進來電梯.  他跟我說過年時他要做的事情, 也問我有什麼計畫.  他給我看他家鄉的照片.  照片裡很多人笑得很開心.  他跟我說他兒子有了新的工作, 之後所有的事情都會越來越好.

I bicycle to work in the sunshine, and I'm thinking that Taiwan is a good place to live.  I'm thinking that it will be a good day, and I'm thinking that after work I can have dinner with my wife and daughters.  I'm happy about my job.  I'm happy about my family.  And I'm happy about the money that I make.  我在陽光下騎單車上班, 我也想著台灣是個居住的好地方,  今天會是很棒的一天, 下班後我可以跟太太還有女兒一起吃晚餐.  我對工作很滿意,  我對家庭很滿意,  我也對我賺的錢很滿意.

It's Friday, it's warm, and it's bright.  Life is full of pleasant surprises, and everything is getting better... all the time.  這是一個溫暖, 又光亮的禮拜五.  人生充滿了驚喜.  所有的事在每個時間都會越來越好.


3. Can't Win, Don't Try?日子還是要過

Can't find my keys, but at least it's sunny outside.  Forgot to set my alarm, but there's still time to make coffee, and still time to watch the last few minutes of a football game.  找不到鑰匙!  還好外面天氣晴朗.  忘記定鬧鐘! 還好仍有空泡咖啡跟看最後幾分鐘的美式足球賽.

I'm looking in the mirror, and thinking that I look like I always do.  Work will be work, and that's fine.  Just another day.  我看著鏡子, 覺得自己看起來都差不多,  工作還是工作,  沒關係, 只是又是另外一天.

I don't see anyone on my way downstairs.  我下樓的時候沒有看到其他人.

I'm bicycling to work in the sunshine, and yes, I'm worried about things I've read on the news, but I realize there's little I can do about any of it anyway. 我在陽光下騎單車去上班, 擔心著最近看到的新聞, 了解自己在這些事上可以做的微乎其微.

It's Wednesday, it's chilly, but at least the sun is out.  Life is not bad, and a lot of it depends on how you choose to see it.  今天星期三, 很冷, 但至少出太陽.  人生不錯.  好的, 壞的, 都跟自己的看法有關.

Or at least that's what I try to tell myself...  至少這句話是我說給自己聽的...

...because it might all be a conspiracy, or we might be the victims of forces beyond our control.  Or, as the Buddha said, it might all be an illusion.  ...因為可能世界充滿了陰謀, 人類可能是未知力量的受害者, 也或許是像佛陀所說的這個世界是個幻象...

At any rate, why worry?  不管怎樣, 有什麼好緊張的?

Related Entries 相關的文章: 

Riding from the Li Ji Bridge to Highway 197 從利吉橋騎到197
台灣民俗由來 The Origin of Taiwanese Customs (3 of 4)

2016年12月18日 星期日

Riding from the Li Ji Bridge to Highway 197 從利吉橋騎到197

Three bridges pass over the Beinan River near Taitung City.  These are the Jung Hua Bridge, the "Taitung Big Bridge," and the Li Ji Bridge.  The Li Ji Bridge goes to the Li Ji Badlands, which are northwest of Taitung City.  台東市附近有三座橋橫跨卑南溪.  這三座橋分別是中華橋, 台東大橋, 跟利吉橋利吉橋通往台東西北部的利吉惡地.


This is the view from the Li Ji Bridge, looking toward the Pacific Ocean.  The hill in the background is "Tiger Head Mountain," where Highway 197 starts.  這是從利吉橋上往太平洋方向拍的.   照片中的山是虎頭山,  也是縣道197的起點.


From the same spot, looking in the opposite direction.  The Li Ji Badlands are on the other side of the bridge.在同一個地點往反方向看,  利吉惡地就在橋後方.


Just before Li Ji Village you'll find this small scenic area.  It would be a nice spot for a picnic.  到利吉村之前, 你會經過這個小風景區.  在這裡野餐不錯!


Small stream flowing through the scenic area.  流經風景區的小溪.


Entrance to Li Ji Village.  People drive down this road very fast, so bicyclists should exercise caution.利吉村的入口.  很多人在這條路上開車開很快, 所以騎單車的騎士要很小心.


View from Li Ji Village looking east.  That's Little Yellow Mountain in the background, to the right.  These hills are the beginning of the Coastal Mountain Range.  從利吉村往東邊看,  右邊有小黃山海岸山脈的起點就在這附近.



From the same spot.  同一個地點.


On the other side of Li Ji Village.  On any given day part of this road is either under construction, or washed out by a landslide.  Highway 197 is even worse.  利吉村的另外一邊.  任何時候這條路不是在施工, 就是土石坍塌.  縣道197比這裡更糟糕.


A lot of makeshift houses up here.  This was taken close to where the road through Li Ji joins Highway 197.  這附近有很多年久失修的房子.  這裡很靠近縣道197.


Taken near the end of that road.  From here you take Highway 197 east or west.  West goes to Luan Shan, and eventually joins up with Highway 9 through the East Rift Valley.  East goes to Fu Yuan, and eventually joins up with Highway 11, which passes through the East Coast National Scenic Area.  The scenery in both directions is beautiful, but pictures of those places will have to await another day!  這條路的終點.  從這裡可以走縣道197往東或往西.  往西走到鸞山, 之後接花東縱谷台9線.  往東走到富源, 之後接到東海岸風景區的台11線.  二邊的風景都很美, 可是那二邊的照片改天才會出現在這裡!

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Riding Around Taitung's Forest Park 在台東森林公園騎單車
 

2016年12月15日 星期四

台灣民俗由來 The Origin of Taiwanese Customs (3 of 4)

The (Chinese) questions and answers below are from the book "The Origins of Taiwanese Customs."  The Chinese was written by Lin Mao-shian, and the English translation was written by me.  下列的中文問題跟答案來自於台灣民俗由來這本書.  這本書的作者是林茂賢先生.  我則是將他書中的部分內容翻譯成英文.

Below are chapters 17-24 from the "Folk Beliefs" section.  Next month I'll introduce sections 25-32.  There are 32 chapters in all.  以下是 "民俗信仰" 第十七到第二十四章的部分.  下個月我要介紹第二十五到第三十二章的部分.  "民俗信仰" 這個單元總共有三十二章.


17. Q: 為什麼廟裡會有乩童?  Why do temples have a "Ji Tong?"1

A: 乩童是人與神明之間的溝通橋梁, 也是台灣民俗信仰中的重要角色, 民南語稱為 "童乩."  當人們心中有疑惑, 想要請神明指點迷津時, 乩童就會請神明附身在自己身上, 並傳達神明的指示, 過程稱為 "起乩;" 此外, 寺廟裡的神明出巡遶境時, 乩童也要在一旁協助.  乩童目前仍普遍存在於民間裡, 至於乩童是不是真的能和另一個世界溝通, 替人們解開疑惑, 就是個見仁見智的問題了.  The "Ji Tong" activity serves as a bridge between people and the spirit world.  It also plays an important role in Taiwanese folk beliefs.  In Taiwanese it is called "Tong Ji."  

When people are troubled and want the gods' guidance, they use the Ji Tong activity to invite the gods to inhabit their bodies, so that the gods' instructions can be made clear.  The result is something2 called "Chi Ji."  

When the temple gods emerge during the "Rao Jing" activity, the Ji Tong is performed at the same time.  The Ji Tong was once a commonly seen activity, and there are many points of view as to whether the participants really communicate with another world.  There are also many points of view as to whether this activity really helps people solve their problems.


18. Q: 去廟裡拜拜為什麼要擲筊?  Why do we need to cast blocks3 when we visit the temple?

A: 當你向神明許願, 希望祂能夠指點迷津時, 要怎麼知道祂的想法呢?  答案就是 "擲筊."  "筊" 是用木頭做成的, 為兩片半月形, 求神時, 信徒將筊握在手中, 默念問題後, 輕輕往地上一丟, 若是一正一反即為 "聖筊," 表示神明贊同你的做法; 如果是兩個正面, 稱為 "笑筊," 表示神明廳到你的想法笑了出來, 也就是不置可否; 如果是兩個反面的話, 當然就表示祂不贊同你所說的話囉!  When you pray to the gods and ask for their guidance, how can you know what they are thinking?  The answer to this question is "Jr Jiao" [casting blocks].  The "Jiao" [blocks] are made of wood and shaped like half moons.  When believers pray, they hold the blocks in their hands, think about their problem, and gently throw the blocks to the floor.  If one block is upright and the other is upside down, this is called "god blocks," and this means that the god approves of what you're doing.  If both blocks are upright, this is called "laughing blocks," and it means that the god laughed out loud when he/she heard what you were thinking.  The import of the "laughing blocks" is uncertain.  If both blocks are upside down, of course it means that the god disapproves of what you've said!


19. Q: 為什麼進廟時不能踩門檻?  Why can't we step on the threshold when we enter the temple?

A: 在中國的傳統建築習慣上, 門檻越高, 就代表房子的主人身分越高貴; 而用在寺廟建築時, 門檻越高, 就代表裡面所供奉的神位階越高.  古人相信, 萬物皆有神, 所以門檻上當然也會有神囉!  既然廟裡供奉的是大佛, 那麼門檻上的神地位也不會太低, 如果隨便踩上去的話, 就像是在跳戰神的權威一樣, 非常不禮貌.  因此下次跟著家人到廟裡拜拜時, 要記得跨過門檻, 才不會對神不敬喔!  In traditional Chinese architecture, the threshold of every building is built very high, to indicate that the person inhabiting the house [or building] is of very noble status.  When this building technique is used in a temple, it indicates the exalted status of the gods that inhabit that temple.  In ancient times they believed that spirits were everywhere, so that the threshold also had its own spirit.  If the temple was consecrated to the Buddha, then the status of the god which inhabited the threshold could not be too low.  If one carelessly steps upon this threshold, it's as if you are contesting the god's status, and this is very bad manners.  With this in mind, remember not to step on the threshold next time you visit the temple to pray with your family.  Otherwise you'll be disrespecting a god!4


20. Q: 為什麼拜拜多用 "三牲?"  Why do we make "the three offerings" during worship?

A: 台灣人在祭拜神明時多半會準備三牲, 三牲就是指三種牲禮, 一般都會有豬和雞, 第三樣則是鴨或魚.  以前的人生活較勤儉, 很少有機會吃肉, 只有像過年過節這種大日子, 才有機會能吃上幾口肉, 因此大家會把難得買來的肉, 在拜拜時獻給神明, 以表示民間對神明的最高敬意.  此外, 儘管現在環保意識高漲, 很多人都開始吃素, 但還是不能用蔬果取代三牲, 認為那樣顯得誠意不足.  People in Taiwan make the three offerings when they worship their gods.  The term "three offerings" refers to three types of offering.  The two most commonly seen offerings are pork and chicken, with a third offering being duck or fish.  People led very thrifty lives before, and seldom had the opportunity to eat meat.  It was only on holidays like Chinese New Year that they had the chance to consume a few mouthfuls of meat, and for this reason they offered this difficult to obtain food to the gods, as a sign of their reverence.  Aside from this, and as environmental awareness has increased, many people are choosing to become vegetarians.  It should be noted, however, that it's not permitted to substitute fruits and vegetables for the three offerings.  Those who do so will appear [to the gods] to lack sincerity.


21. Q: 為麼廟門前要放兩尊石獅子?  Why are there guardian lions in front of temples?

A: 民間的廟宇及關府前, 通常會擺放兩尊石獅子, 不過中國並沒有獅子這種動物, 為什麼會刻出石獅子呢?  據說在東漢時期, 西域的安息國王將一隻獅子獻給皇帝, 由於人們都沒見過這種動物, 於是把牠當成和龍, 麒麟等傳說中的吉祥野獸一樣神聖, 認為牠能帶來好運, 是吉祥, 平安的象徵.  逐漸的, 獅子成為看守門的吉祥物, 許多寺廟和老式建築, 都會在門前放兩尊雕刻精美的石獅子.  It is common for people to place two guardian lions in front of temples, but lions cannot be found in China.  Why carve such animals?  It is said that during the Eastern Han An-shi, king of the western region, gave a lion as an offering to the emperor.  At that time no one had ever seen this kind of animal, and viewed it as one would view dragons, qilins [kirins], or other mythological animals.  They thought that it could bring good fortune, and was an auspicious symbol.  Lions slowly became spirits that guarded over doorways, and afterward many temples and other old buildings began to place two beautifully carved guardian lions before their entrances.


22. Q: 為什麼廟宇的調像要扛屋角柱?  Why are there statues holding up the roofs of temples?

A: 在民間的廟宇中, 會發現一些扛著屋角柱或廟角的雕像, 而且這些雕像的外型幾乎都是濃眉大眼的外國人, 稱為 "憨番扛厝角."  憨番塑像的由來很多, 較普遍的說法是, 從前外國人統治台灣時, 對台灣人非常苛刻, 台灣人為了報復他們, 就在蓋廟的時候, 故意將雕像做成外國人的樣子, 要他們幫我們扛廟.  如今這些扛著沉重屋角的憨番, 已成為台灣部分廟宇的最大特色了.  In traditional temples you'll see several statues in the corners, holding up the roof.  These bushy-eyebrowed, big-eyed, foreign-looking statues are called "Han Fan House Carriers."  There are many reasons why the "Han Fan" look as they do, but the most common explanation is that when foreigners ruled Taiwan, they were very unforgiving, and as a way of getting back at them the Taiwanese decided to make the load-bearing statues in their temples look like foreigners - forcing these "foreigners" to hold up the roof.  These overburdened Han Fan have since become one of the most distinctive traits of Taiwanese temples.5


23. Q: 為什麼祭孔大典後要拔智慧毛?  Why do people pull "hairs of wisdom" following the big Confucian ceremony?

A: 每年的九月二十八日是教師節, 當天許多地區都會舉辦祭孔大典, 典禮結束後, 就是民眾最期待的 "拔智慧毛" 活動.  傳統上, 智慧毛是祭孔牛隻身上的毛, 若能成功拔得, 就可傳承孔子智慧, 讓學生考試順利, 成績進步.  不過由於智慧毛有限, 而且容易造成民眾爭搶, 所以某些地方就以年型雕刻取代真的牛隻, 並讓民眾拔取棒棒糖, 毛筆或領智慧糕, 同樣有象徵智慧增長的意義.  Teacher's Day falls on September 28 every year, and on that day many places host a big ceremony in honor of Confucius.  After the ceremony is concluded, everyone looks forward to the "plucking the hairs of wisdom" activity.  According to tradition, the "hairs of wisdom" grow upon a cow sacred to Confucius, and if you pluck one of them you will receive his wisdom.  Students [who pluck these hairs] will also do well on tests and improve their scores.  But because the number of these hairs is limited, and because people tend to fight over them, in some places they substitute a sculpture (or carving) for a real cow, and people will pluck lollipops, brushes, or "wisdom cakes" from the sculpture.  These can also serve as symbols of wisdom.


24. Q: 為什麼祭孔大典要跳八佾舞?  Why do people dance the "Ba Yi" dance during the big Confucian ceremony?

A: "佾" 是行列單位, "佾舞" 是指行列整齊的祭祀舞蹈.  古時候, 人民會跳佾舞來祭拜過世的帝王及諸侯, 佾舞人數則依照功績做變化.  "六佾" 為六行六列, 共有三十六人, 可用來祭拜諸侯; 而 "八佾" 為八行八列, 共六十四人, 是最崇高的等級, 只有天子才能享用.  但不管時代如何變遷, 孔子一直是大家所尊崇的精神領袖, 當然有資格享用八佾, 因此八佾舞也成為紀念孔子的專屬舞蹈了.  "Yi" is a row or unit.  The "Yi Dance" refers to a type of ritual dance.  In ancient times, people would perform the Yi Dance in honor of dead kings and princes.  The number of dancers varied in accordance with the merits of the person being honored.  The "Six Yi" employed six rows and six columns, or 36 people altogether.  It was performed in honor of princes.  The "Eight Yi" employed eight rows and eight columns, or 64 people altogether.  This is/was the most exalted dance, and could only be performed for the Emperor.  But times change, and Confucius remains a respected and revered spiritual leader, so of course he deserves the Eight Yi.  For this reason the Eight Yi has become a memorial dance closely associated with Confucius.

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台灣民俗由來 The Origin of Taiwanese Customs (2 of 4)
What's Going On In Taitung 台東最近發生的事 2
台灣民俗由來 The Origin of Taiwanese Customs (1 of 4)

1. It's not mentioned in the book, but this is the same activity in which the participants cut and pierce themselves.  It can get very bloody. 

2. Not sure if this "Chi Ji" refers to the spiritual possession itself or to the act of interpreting the god's message.

3. There's no good way to translate 擲筊 or "Jr Jiao" into English.  I've chosen to translate it as "casting blocks."

4. Gotta love this wanton mixing of Buddhism and more traditional Chinese beliefs.  I don't think most templegoers would even see this as a conflict of religious ideologies.

5. I was unable to find any of these statues in Taitung (where I live).  I think you'd be more likely to find them in places like Tainan or Beigang 北港, which have a longer history of settlement by Chinese people.

2016年12月8日 星期四

What's Going On at RT Mart, Carrefour, and PX Mart 大賣場最近發生的事

Sorry!  Can't bring myself to sort through the local news this week.  Not much going on anyway.  It rained, there was another earthquake, and that's about it.  很抱歉!  我最近不想看台東的新聞.  反正也沒有什麼重要的事發生.  台東下了雨, 也發生了地震, 大致上就是這樣了.

At the moment I'm finding the supermarket circulars more interesting.  Let's take a look inside, shall we?  我最近對大賣場的廣告比較有興趣.  讓我們一起來看一下?


Carrefour is selling whole baked chicken and turkey in honor of Christmas.  How considerate!  No price listed, and eating that chicken or turkey is going to be an intestinal gamble.  Do you feel lucky? 因為聖誕節的關係, 家樂福現正賣烤雞跟烤火雞.  真是貼心!  廣告上沒有標上價錢.  我想吃他們雞肉還是火雞肉是對胃腸的一場賭注.  你的運氣好嗎?

And here's a whole plate of shrimp for 288 NT, this in honor of Chinese New Year.  This kind of thing is the reason I can't eat shrimp anymore.  Back in 1999 I had a plate of such shrimp at a Geant in Taichung, and I came down with a case of food poisoning so bad that I haven't been able to eat shrimp since.  因為過年,  這盤蝦子是288元.  這也是我到現在仍沒有辦法吃蝦子的原因.  1999年時, 我在台中的愛買買過一盤蝦子.  吃完後, 我食物中毒拉肚子, 因為那樣子的陰影我從此沒辦法吃蝦子.

A selection of wines, ranging from 198 NT to 529 NT.  None of the labels look familiar, but then again I've never been a huge drinker of wine.  I find it hard to tell the difference between the "good" wines and the "bad" wines.  Honestly, most people who drink wine are just kidding themselves anyway.  Come down to my level, and drink some beer!  還有198元到529元的葡萄酒.  我沒有看過這些牌子, 但是我也不是常喝葡萄酒的那種人.  我通常喝不出來哪一種葡萄酒好, 哪一種不好.  我覺得喜歡喝葡萄酒的人應該跟我一樣沒水準來喝啤酒!


RT Mart's circular is encouraging us to "enjoy hot pots."  Great idea, but I've had a lot of hot pots lately.  What I'd really like to enjoy is pizza, but my wife just isn't having it.  大潤發的廣告叫我們 "享受火鍋."  這是一個好主意, 可是我最近吃的火鍋已經很多了.  我很想吃披薩, 可是我太太一點都不要.

A big jar of Nutella for 149 NT.  Trouble is that I've never liked Nutella.  A lot of yummy-looking chocolates from Europe and Japan, but they're all too expensive.  大罐花生醬要149元.  問題是我不喜歡那種花生醬.  他們還有賣很多看起來好吃的歐洲跟日本的巧克力, 可是全都太貴了.

Here's a Sony PS4 Pro for 12,980 NT.  That's not cheap.  What can the PS4 Pro do, I wonder, to be worth so much money?  Hopefully we could also use it to vacuum our floors, clean our catboxes, and make light meals.  Might want to wash it out between the catboxes and the light meals though.  這裡有個12980元的Sony PS4 Pro.  哇!  不便宜!  那麼貴的PS4 Pro可以做什麼?  希望可以利用它吸地板, 清理貓沙, 還有準備輕食.  但是清理貓沙跟準備輕食中間要洗一洗吧.


PX Mart is selling 2.5 tubes of Darlie toothpaste for 155 NT.  Darlie is the English name for "hei ren" or "black man" toothpaste.  There's also a "white man" toothpaste, but I haven't seen it in a while.  I really think there ought to be an "Asian man" toothpaste in Asia, don't you?  在全聯兩條半Darlie牙膏是155元.  Darlie就是"黑人"牙膏.  也有"白人"牙膏, 可是我很久沒有看到了. 為什麼亞洲這裡怎麼沒有"亞洲人"牙膏?

If you go to PX Mart's web page, you'll find a fun infographic on their history.  According to this infographic, their company was established in 1998.  It doesn't say when the first store opened up in Taitung, but judging by the infographic I'd say this happened sometime in the early 2000s.  你如果上全聯的網站的話, 你會發現有關於他們歷史的部分.  這個網頁說公司是1998年成立的.  但網頁沒說台東的第一家店是什麼時候開始營業的, 可是讀了資料之後, 我覺它大概是在2000年過後.

1998.  Back in 1998 was still in college, about to graduate.  Man, PX Mart and I go a ways back, don't we?  1998年.  1998年的時候我還在大學念書, 快要畢業了.  我跟全聯蠻有關聯的, 對吧!

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The RTcarrefourhypermart 大家愛潤樂買福

P.S. I'll get back to the local news next month.  It'll probably be more interesting by then!

2016年12月1日 星期四

The RTcarrefourhypermart 大家愛潤樂買福


If you're very good in this life - if you're kind to people, if you respect your elders, and if you go to the temple on the god's birthday - after you die you can visit the RTcarrefourhypermart in heaven.  如果你這輩子是個好人:對別人友善, 尊重年長者, 神明生日時去廟裡祭拜, 如果你是個這樣的人, 那你過世的時候可以去天堂的大家愛潤樂買福買東西.

And if you're a man who likes women (or a woman who likes women), you'll notice that all of the workers there are super hot bikini girls, and that none of them can stop staring at you as you walk the aisles, pushing your shopping cart.  那如果你是個喜歡女人的男人 (還是喜歡女人的女人), 你會發現那邊的工作人員都是穿比基尼的辣妹, 並且在你推手推車逛賣場的時候緊盯著帥帥(美美)的你.

And if you're a woman who likes men (or a man who likes men), you'll notice that all of the workers there are crazy handsome, super-sensitive men, and that they're all ready to help you find that certain item, or give you a back massage, or compliment you on how good you look.  如果你是喜歡男人的女人 (還是喜歡男人的男人) , 你會發現那邊的工作人員都超帥的, 而且都很體貼,  他們都很願意幫你找你要的產品, 或是按摩你痠痛的地方, 或是讚美你的外表.

And when you visit the electronics department, you'll find that they have video games that haven't even been invented yet, and time machines, and real working spaceships.  當你來到電器用品部門的時候, 會發現他們在賣還不存在的電動玩具, 除了這之外還賣時光機器, 和真的宇宙飛船.

And none of the clothes there will make you look fat, or old, or ugly.  And the book section will rival the Library of Congress, or even the Library of Alexandria.  And in the food section you'll find all of your favorite foods, of the very best quality.  那裡賣的衣服都不會讓你看起來胖, 老, 或醜.  他們的圖書區的書比美國國會圖書館或是古代的亞歷山大圖書館還多.  而且超市裡會有你最喜歡的食物.  食物的品質也都是最好的.

And as you arrive at the cashier, you'll realize that you've forgotten your wallet, but the cashier will say: "It's no problem, because you're our hundredth customer, and everything in your shopping cart is free!"  當你到收銀機前結帳時, 就算忘了帶錢包.  收銀員會跟你說: "沒有關係.  因為你是我們第100名顧客, 所以推車裡的所有物品都不用錢."


But, if you're very BAD in this life - if you're unkind to people, if you disrespect your elders, and if you never go to the temple - after you die you'll need to do your shopping at the RTcarrefourhypermart in hell.  可是如果這輩子你當壞人的話: 對別人很差, 不尊重年長者, 也從來不去廟裡拜拜, 那你過世的時候要去地獄的大家愛潤樂買福買東西.

And all of the workers there will be stupid zombies, and when you need help they won't be able to help you, because they'll be too busy trying to eat you, or to eat other shoppers.  那邊的工作人員都是笨笨的殭屍.  他們不會幫你找你要的產品, 因為他們都忙著吃掉你, 或是忙著吃其他的顧客.

And when you visit the electronics department, you'll find that it's full of junk from fifty years ago, and none of it will work well - if at all.  The home appliances will be things like butter churns and washboards, and they will all be ridiculously expensive.  那你在電器用品部門的時候, 會發現所有的產品都是50多年前的東西.  不是不好用就是全是壞的.  他們的家用電器都是過時無用的東西,  而且價錢超貴.

And all of the clothes there will make you look fat, old, and ugly.  And the book section will consist of one book, which is a biography written about you.  And in the book will be written all of the bad and/or embarrassing things you've ever done.  You'll notice that some of the zombies are reading it, and laughing.  而且他們賣的衣服會讓你看起來很胖, 很老, 和很難看.  圖書區也只有一本書, 一本關於你自己的傳記.  那本書裡面介紹的都是你生活中最丟臉的事情.  然後你會看到身邊的殭屍一邊看書, 一邊笑你.

And as you arrive at the cashier - who also happens to be a god - you'll realize that you've forgotten your wallet, and he / she / it will say:  等你到收銀機前的時候, 會發現收銀員就是一名神明,  你同時也會發現自己忘記帶錢包.  這時神明會跟你說:

"Wake up, my friend.  You're having a dream.  You're still alive, you can still be kind to people, you can still respect your elders, and you can still visit me, in the temple, on my birthday."  "朋友, 要醒醒.  你在作夢.  你還在人世, 還有機會對人好, 還可以尊敬年齡比你大的人.  我生日的時候也還可以去廟裡拜我."

"Just remember to bring your wallet next time.  Nothing's for free, and after all what are good deeds, but a means of buying one's way into heaven?"  "下次要記得帶錢包來, 天下沒有白吃的午餐, 畢竟你做的好事不就是你在天堂的生活費?"


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2016年11月23日 星期三

Riding Around Taitung's Forest Park 在台東森林公園騎單車


Bicycle map of the Forest Park.  台東森林公園自行車道導覽圖.



The Flowing Lake, where the triathlons are held.  舉辦鐵人三項的活水湖.


The other end of the same lake.  活水湖的另外一邊.


A little closer to the ocean.  比較靠近海一點.


View from the big hill next to the Flowing Lake.  The Beinan River to the right, with the Jung Hua Bridge passing over it.  從活水湖旁邊小坡上看到的風景.  卑南溪在右邊, 還有卑南溪上的中華僑.


Even closer to the ocean.  更靠近海一點.


View north along the Pacific.  看往北邊的太平洋.


Strange trees.  This part of the Forest Park gets the worst of every typhoon, and the trees here need to be strong.  奇怪的樹.  這部分的森林公園每次颱風一來就受到猛烈衝擊, 所以這些樹要很堅韌.


Closer to Pipa Lake.  This area was damaged most during recent typhoons.  比較靠近琵琶湖.         這裡受到最近的颱風的破壞.


Still pretty, but most of the trees are gone.  還是很漂亮, 可是很多樹都不見了.


A month ago most of this area was under water.  They've diverted some of the water to a nearby stream, but it will take a long time to drain out completely.  一個月前這裡都被水淹沒.  很多水都被排到附近的小溪, 可是仍然要等很久才會完全恢復成以往的樣子.

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2016年11月17日 星期四

台灣民俗由來 The Origin of Taiwanese Customs (2 of 4)

The (Chinese) questions and answers below are from the book "The Origins of Taiwanese Customs."  The Chinese was written by Lin Mao-shian, and the English translation was written by me.  下列的中文問題跟答案來自於台灣民俗由來這本書.  這本書的作者是林茂賢先生.  我則是將他書中的部分內容翻譯成英文.

Below are chapters 9-16 from the "Folk Beliefs" section.  Next month I'll introduce sections 17-24.  There are 32 chapters in all.  以下是 "民俗信仰" 第九到第十六章的部分.  下個月我要介紹第十七到第二十四章的部分.  "民俗信仰" 這個單元總共有三十二章.


9. Q: 為什麼初一, 十五要拜拜?  Why do we need to visit the temple on the first and fifteenth days of the lunar month?

A: 人們對土地公的信仰, 源自於對土地的崇拜, 因為土地孕育萬物, 並提供豐富的五穀, 滿足人民生活所需, 自然而然, 人們就將這種崇拜神格化.  土地公雖然是職位較低的神明, 但是祂所管轄的事情非常多, 而且除了各村里的土地公廟外, 各大廟宇也一定會有土地公.  人們都相信土地公能庇護鄉里, 保佑人民, 所以每逢農曆初一, 十五, 一般家庭會祭拜土地公, 希望全家都能平安又順利.  People's belief in Tu Di Gong comes from their reverence for the land - because everything comes from the land, and because the land provides the grain which sustains the lives of the people.  Of course many other gods are worshiped for similar reasons, and although Tu Di Gong is a god with less status, many things fall under his jurisdiction.  Aside from the Tu Di Gong temples which are to be found in every village, every big temple also has a [statue of] Tu Di Gong.  Everyone believes that Tu Di Gong can watch over their village, and that he can protect the people.  For this reason, the first and fifteenth days on the lunar calendar are when most families worship Tu Di Gong, in the hope that they will be peaceful and prosperous.


10. Q: 為什麼小孩要拜 "七娘媽?"  Why do children need to worship "the Seventh Mother?"

A: 七娘媽是兒童的守護, 神父母為求孩子平安長大, 便會在每年的七夕 (農曆七月七日), 也就是七娘媽生日當天, 準備牲禮, 四果, 胭脂水粉, 鏡子, 梳子等來祭拜七娘媽, 一直到孩子滿十六歲為止.  孩子平安長大十六歲了, 就要在七夕當天準備果, 粽, 湯圓等祭拜七娘媽, 感謝祂的保佑, 稱為 "作十六歲," 這也是孩子的成年禮, 慶祝他們已經長大成人, 可以為自己的言行負責了.  The Seventh Mother is the goddess which parents entreat for the safe growth and protection of their children.  During the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, which is the Seventh Mother's birthday, offerings such as the four fruits, cosmetics, mirrors, and combs are placed upon her altar.  This is done until children reach 16 years of age.  Once they have safely reached 16, they should prepare fruits, dumplings, and soup balls for the Seventh Mother on her birthday, in order to thank her for protecting them.  This is called "Making 16 Years," and is a rite celebrating one's passage into adulthood.  It also marks the time when one's deeds must match one's words.



11. Q: 廟會中的七爺, 八爺是誰?  Who are the Seventh Master and Eighth Master we see during temple festivals?1

A: 相傳, 七爺名叫謝必安, 八爺名叫范無救, 他們都是衙門的差役.  有一次, 他們押解的一名犯人在上京途中逃跑了, 於是兩人分頭去找, 並相約在橋下見.  後來八爺先到達橋下, 卻遲遲等不到七爺, 結果遇上溪水暴漲, 不幸被溺死臉也變成了黑色; 七爺則因過度悲傷而上吊自盡, 所以舌頭吐出.  玉皇大帝十分佩服他們的情義和勇氣, 便將他們分派給城隍爺當部將, 負責捕捉四處害人的鬼怪.  According to legend, the Seventh Master was originally named Shie Bi-an, and the Eighth Master was named Fan Wu-jiou.  They were officers in the service of Ya Men.  A prisoner escaped their custody on the way to the capital, and the two separated to search for him.  They agreed to meet under a bridge, and the Eighth Master was the first to arrive there.  He waited a long time for the Seventh Master, until the river below the bridge flooded.  He drowned, and as a result his face became black.  Because of this tragedy, the Seventh Master hung himself, causing his tongue to stick out.  The Jade Emperor greatly admired their friendship and courage, and put them under the command of the City God, who charged them with catching harmful ghosts.


12. Q: 為什麼求姻緣要拜月下老人?  Why do people who want to get married pray to the Old Man Under the Moon?

A: 月下老人掌管人世間所有男女的姻緣, 所以有許多單身的人會去祭拜祂.  相傳月下老人手中有一本姻緣簿, 裡面記載所有男女應該婚配的對象, 當祂找到注定要婚配的男女時, 就會拿出一根紅線, 並繫在兩人的手上, 因此我們說幫人作媒就是 "牽紅線."  如果到廟中向月老祈求姻緣, 之後順利遇到適合的對象並結婚的話, 記得帶盒喜餅到廟中還願, 誠心感謝月下老人的祝福.  The Old Man Under the Moon is in charge of marriages between all earthly men and women, so many single people will go and worship him.  According to legend, the Old Man Under the Moon holds in his hands a Marriage Book, and within the book are recorded suitable marriage partners for every man and woman.  When he finds a man and woman who are destined to marry, he takes out a red string, and with it he ties the two peoples' hands together.  This is why matchmaking is called "pulling the red string."  If you go to the temple and pray to the Old Man Under the Moon for a marriage, and afterward you happen to meet a suitable person and get married, you should remember to take a box of wedding cakes to the temple, and offer them to the Old Man Under the Moon in thanks for your good fortune.


13. Q: 為什麼想生小孩要拜註生娘娘?  Why should those who wish to have children worship Ju Sheng Mother?

A: 註生娘娘是掌管生育以及保護幼童的神明, 因此想求子的婦女都會去祭拜祂, 請祂保佑自己順利懷孕.  在臺灣, 除了祭拜註生娘娘, 孕婦在生產前還會祭拜臨水夫人陳靖姑.  她是唐朝人, 具有斬妖除魔的能力, 懷孕時為了收服妖怪不幸去世, 臨終前立誓要幫助所有婦女順利生產.  因此婦女希望懷孕, 求生男或女, 就會去拜註生娘娘; 懷孕之後希望能平安順利的生產, 就會去拜臨水夫人.  Ju Sheng Mother is a spirit who oversees births and protects small children.  For this reason all women who want to have children make offerings to her, and ask for her help in getting pregnant.  In Taiwan, women will also make offerings to Chen Jing Gu, the Woman Near the Water, before giving birth.  She [Chen Jing Gu] lived during the Tang Dynasty, and had the ability to banish demons.  In order to ensure that pregnancies proceeded without the ill effects of vengeful spirits, she swore before her death to help women have births free of complications.  This is why women wanting children pray to Ju Sheng Mother, and why those hoping for a peaceful and easy birth pray to the Woman Near the Water.


14. Q: 廟會中的 "陣頭" 是指什麼?  What is the significance of the "Jen Tou" performance during temple festivals?

A: 陣頭是台灣民間的一種街頭表演藝術, 通常是在廟會, 迎神, 神明遶境, 喪葬儀式中出現.  陣頭表演除了民眾熟知的八家將, 花鼓陣, 宋江陣, 舞龍舞獅外, 近年更結合創意, 發展出電音版的三太子, 而這些表演元素融入莊嚴的宗教禮俗後, 不僅增添熱鬧氣氛, 也為廟會表演添加藝術性質.  陣頭表演人員大多是業餘的, 他們利用空閒時間學習民俗技藝, 當有廟會活動時再代表地方出陣遊行.  The "Jen Tou" is a kind of Taiwanese roadside performance art.  It can be seen during temple festivals such as "the welcoming of the gods," the Rao Jing, and during funerals.  In addition to the 8-person performance, the flower drum ensemble, the martial performance, and the dragon and tiger dances, in recent years there has been a new innovation in the "Electronic San Tai Dze."  These performances bring a liveliness to otherwise solemn religious ceremonies, and add a certain artistry to temple festivals.  Most of those performing in the Jen Tou performance work for a living, and use their free time to learn this folk art.  They represent their communities during temple festivals.


15. Q: 拜拜時的 "三太子" 是指誰?  Who is the "San Tai Dze" referred to in temple worship?2

A: 三太子就是 "封神演義" 中手持火尖槍, 腳踩風火輪的哪吒.  有一次, 他大鬧東海龍宮, 龍王不甘心, 就上奏玉帝, 希望問罪他的父母李靖夫婦, 哪吒為了不連累父母, 自願以性命贖罪.  哪吒死後, 得到太乙真人的幫助, 用荷葉, 蓮花替他重塑形體, 並賜給他火尖槍和風火輪.  在臺灣的民間信仰中, 哪吒是守護鄉里的中壇元帥, 兒童的守護神, 也是職業駕駛, 輪胎業者的行業神, 能保佑行車平安.  San Tai Dze is the spear-wielding Nuo Ja, who rides upon wheels of fire in the "Romance of Feng Shen."  At one time, he raided the palace of the Dragon of the Eastern Sea, and the Dragon King was inconsolable.  The Dragon King then asked the Jade Emperor to avenge this wrong by punishing Li Jing and his wife, who were Nuo Ja's parents.  In order to save his parents, Nuo Ja sacrificed himself.  After Nuo Ja's death, and with the aid of the Perfected Tai Yi3, lotus leaves were used to recreate his body, and he was given back his spear and wheels of fire.  In Taiwanese folk beliefs, Nuo Ja is the protector of the central village altar, children, those who drive for a living, those involved in the tire industry, and also those involved in related professions.  He protects vehicles and keeps them safe.4


16. Q: 什麼是 "電音三太子?"  What is the "Electronic San Tai Dze?"

A: 台灣民間三太子的造型都年輕, 活潑又可愛, 經常以戴墨鏡, 拿玩具, 溜滑板和騎機車等方式出現.  直到西元二000年左右, 人們突發奇想, 以童謠結合三太子的人偶來表演, 之後更嘗試搭配流行歌曲或熱門音樂, 型成一股風潮, 並在西元二00六年台中市舉辦 "台客嘉年華會" 活動時, 定名為 "電音三太子." 由於跳著電音舞步的三太子特殊又逗趣, 因此在海, 內外都十分受到歡迎.  Among Taiwanese people, San Tai Dze always has a youthful appearance.  He looks very friendly and cute.  He often wears sunglasses, carries toys, rides a skateboard, rides a scooter, and other similar things.  It wasn't until around the year 2000, when people began to take a more whimsical approach to San Tai Dze, that they began to play popular songs and other fashionable music during his street performances.  This created a new craze [for this type of performance].  In 2006, Taichung City hosted its "Tai Ke5 Festival," also known as "Electronic San Tai Dze," and from this time onward the amusing sight of San Tai Dze dancing to electronic music has become popular everywhere.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

What's Going On In Taitung 台東最近發生的事 2
台灣民俗由來 The Origin of Taiwanese Customs (1 of 4)
What's Going On In Taitung 台東最近發生的事 1
台灣各地的地名由來 (台東縣) The Origin of Every Place Name in Taiwan (Taitung County) 

1. 爺 can also be translated as "grandfather."   

2. "San Tai Dze" or 三太子 could be translated at "Third Prince," but that sounds weird to me, so I'm not doing it.

3. "Perfected" (Person) or 真人 is a Daoist term that goes back to the "Romance of Feng Shen."

4. Next time you have your car, scooter, or bicycle's tires changed you might want to look for this god's altar in the shop.  You never know, right?

5. "Tai Ke" or 台客 could be translated as "Taiwanese person," but it's more meaningful than the English term suggests.  A "Tai Ke" is someone who is especially Taiwanese, or who exemplifies Taiwanese culture.