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墨西哥城:体验“令人意外”的礼貌文化

更新时间:2017-12-24 12:50:25 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

In Mexico City,pleasantries help keep the city afloat
墨西哥城:体验“令人意外”的礼貌文化

I’d lived in Mexico City for about six months before witnessing somebody get visibly angry in public. And it wasn’t a Mexican.

在墨西哥城生活了六个月,我才第一次看到有人在公共场合发脾气。而发脾气的并不是墨西哥人。

It was just after the workday had ended, and the buzzing cafe I was in had a perpetual line wrapped around the counter. Suddenly a man began to raise his voice toward the cashier. “You’re trying to rob me!” he yelled in Spanish, with a non-Mexican accent.

那是在一个工作日下班之后,我在一家喧闹的咖啡馆坐着,收银台旁边排起了很长的队。突然,一个男人开始朝收银员叫嚷。"你这是想抢劫我!"他用西班牙语大吼,并不是墨西哥口音。

He looked around the cafe and announced loudly that he had given the cashier 500 pesos, but had only received change for 200 pesos. The young cashier appeared mortified, and people in line turned their gaze to their feet or the pastry display in front of them.

他环顾咖啡馆,大声宣称自己给了收银员500比索,收银员却只找回200比索零钱。年轻的收银员显得很难堪,而正在排队的人有的将目光转向自己的脚,有的则盯着他们面前摆放的糕点。

“This is unbelievable!” The man was now shouting, his ire and frustration directed at everyone in the cafe. “This is criminal.”

"这真是难以置信!"那个男人正在大喊大叫,他的愤怒和恼火直指咖啡馆里的每一个人。"这是犯罪。"

No-one came to his aid. Everyone was simply too shocked that he would raise his voice so aggressively. Finally, the cashier turned around and went into the back room. The man huffed and puffed for another minute before storming out of the establishment. Once he was out of sight, the cashier returned, smiled at the next customer and continued taking orders as usual.

没有人来帮他。他竟如此大喊大叫,每个人都很震惊。最后,收银员转身走进了后面的房间。那个男人又喊了几分钟,然后气冲冲地离开了咖啡馆。等他消失在人们视野之外,收银员就回到了收银台,对下一位顾客笑了笑,继续像往常一样点单。

I have no idea where this man was from, but clearly, he wasn’t from Mexico City. Or Mexico anywhere. Rarely will you see a Mexican publicly lose emotional control, unless perhaps an excess of tequila has been involved.

我不知道这个人是从哪里来的,但显然,他不是来自墨西哥城。或者墨西哥的任何地方。你很少会看到一个墨西哥人在公共场合情绪失控,除非他喝了过量的龙舌兰酒。

This is because there are two things that will get you absolutely nowhere in Mexico: getting visibly upset and being overly direct.

这是因为在墨西哥城,有两件事是绝对行不通的:明显的烦躁和过于直接。

From a young age, Mexicans are taught not to get overly emotional. The common Mexican saying ‘El que se enoja pierde’ literally means ‘He who gets angry, loses’.

从小时候开始,墨西哥人受到的教育就是不要过于情绪化。墨西哥的俗语"El que se enoja pierde"字面意思是"愤怒的人会有损失"。

“We’re taught that we need to remain as calm as possible in every situation,” said Eleazar Silvestre, a fellow Mexico City transplant who is originally from the northern desert state of Sonora.

"我们被教导,需要在任何情况下尽可能保持冷静。"来自北部沙漠州索诺拉州(Sonora)的墨西哥城移民研究员埃莱亚萨·西尔维斯特(Eleazar Silvestre)说。

And this is taken to a whole new level in the central part of the country, including Mexico City, which is considered one of Latin America’s most modern and cosmopolitan cities.

包括墨西哥城——这个城市被认为是拉丁美洲最现代和最国际化的城市之一——在内的国家中心地区应将这种做法提升到更高的水平。

“You cannot be direct here, under any circumstances,” Silvestre said.

"在这里,在任何情况下,你都不能过于直接,"西尔维斯特说。

The cultural norms in Mexico City involve a level of politeness, at least on a superficial level, that I've not experienced in other cities of its size. Surely, with 25 million people making their way through the sprawling megalopolis daily, tensions should be remarkably high. But here, there's a sort of organised chaos and functionality resting on exchanges of pleasantries (routine greetings and farewells specifically, especially among strangers) and an impressive level of patience.

墨西哥城的文化规范涉及礼貌的程度,至少是表面程度,这一点我在其他同样规模的城市从来没有经历过。每天有2500万人在这个庞大的都市中穿行,想必矛盾是经常发生的。但是在这里,有一种有组织的混乱和功能,这依赖于礼貌的交流(特别是陌生人之间的例行问候和道别),以及让人印象深刻的耐心。

For example, a simple request of ‘Pásame la sal, por favor’ (please pass the salt) goes down much better in Mexico City if worded as ‘Podrías pasarme la sal si eres tan amable’ (Could you please pass me the salt if you would be so kind) and followed by a ‘Que amable. Muchas gracias’ (How kind. Thank you very much).

比如,在墨西哥城,一句简单的请求"Pásame la sal, por favor"(请把盐递给我)如果换成这个表达会更好:"Podrías pasarme la sal si seas tan amable"(请问您是否愿意帮我个忙,把盐递给我呢),然后接一句"Muchas gracias"(您太善良了,非常感谢)。

These traditions of respectful language have been handed down by the country’s indigenous populations (including the Aztecs, whose descendants are the modern day Nahuas), later blending with the courtly traditions of the Spanish when Hernán Cortés and his team of conquistadors marauded through the region in 1519. While the north of the country was settled very differently, with a less distinct colonial period, central and southern Mexico were heavily influenced by 300 years of Spanish rule followed by nearly 100 years of Mexican dictatorships.

这些礼貌用语的传统是由原住民(包括阿兹特克人Aztecs,他们的后代是现代纳瓦特人Nahuas)传下来的,后来与西班牙的宫廷传统相融合,1519年,赫尔南·科尔特斯(Hernán Cortés)和他的征服者队伍占领该地区.而墨西哥北部地区情况不同,没有明显的殖民统治时期,但中部和南部地区受到了西班牙300年统治的影响,其后是近100年的墨西哥独裁统治。

“Indirect communication styles have to do with a lack of confidence,” explained Patricia Gallardo Arias, anthropology professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “In the case of Mexico, it could be related to the conquest and the political climate.”

墨西哥国立自治大学(UNAM)人类学教授帕特里夏·加利亚多·阿里亚斯(Patricia Gallardo Arias)解释说:"不直接的交流方式与缺乏信心有关。""就墨西哥而言,这可能与征服和政治气候有关。"
 
This can especially be seen in Mexico City, which lies in the centre of Nahua territory – the centre of the Aztec empire.

墨西哥城位于阿兹特克帝国中心的纳瓦地区中心地带,在此尤其可以看到这一点。

“From the beginning of the colony, the Nahua, which were the majority in the centre of New Spain, had a complicated and baroque system of courtesies, which was transplanted to the Spanish of Mexico,” said Luis Fernando Lara, professor of linguistics at UNAM. “Also, evidently, we have thousands of Nahuatl words in our Spanish.”

"从殖民时期开始,在新西班牙中心占多数的纳瓦特人就有一个复杂的巴洛克式的礼节制度,后来传给墨西哥的西班牙人,"墨西哥国立自治大学(UNAM)的语言学教授路易斯·费尔南多·拉拉(Luis Fernando Lara)说。"另外,显然,西班牙语里有数以千计的纳瓦特语单词。"

Today’s Nahuatl is still spoken by roughly 1.5 million Nahua descendants across Mesoamerica – with the majority of them living in the hilly surroundings of southern Mexico City and dominating the city's service industries and marketplaces.

在中美洲,大约有150万纳瓦特人的后裔仍在使用纳瓦特语,其中大多数人居住在墨西哥城南部的丘陵地带,主宰着这座城市的服务业和市场。

As well as providing words for tomato (tomatl), chocolate (xocolatl), chilli (cilli) and avocado (ahuakatl), the Nahuatl language contains within it a reverential voice and greeting customs that involve respect, no matter the time of day nor the situation at hand. By adding certain suffixes to words, you can differentiate a person’s age, birth order and social status, as well as indicate your feelings of love for them.

除了为西红柿(tomatl),巧克力(xocolatl),辣椒(cilli)和鳄梨(ahuakatl)提供词语外,纳瓦特语中还包含一种表示尊敬的语态和问候习俗,无关时间与周围的情况。通过在单词上添加一些后缀,可以区分一个人的年龄,出生顺序和社会地位,也能表明你对他们情感。

“An example of the Nahua in Mexican Spanish is our morning greeting ‘como amaneciste’, or literally ‘how did you dawn?’. In Nahua, the question is ‘¿Quen otitlathuilli?’ ­– or ‘How did the light enter your eyes this morning?’. Only here we greet each other in such a way,” said Diego Robles, a Mexico City poet and student of Nahuatl.

"在墨西哥的西班牙语中,纳瓦特语的一个例子就是我们早上的问候语"como amaneciste",字面意思是"早晨怎么样?"。在纳瓦特语中,问法是 "¿Quen otitlathuilli?"——或者说"今天早上阳光照耀你的眼睛,感觉怎么样?"。墨西哥城诗人、纳瓦特学生迭戈·罗伯斯(Diego Robles)说:"只有在这里,我们才以这种方式互相问候。"

In some indigenous communities, including some Nahua communities, not looking people in the eye while speaking to them is a sign of respect, while holding eye contact for a prolonged period, especially when done between two men, can be seen as a symbol of aggression.

在一些原住民社区,包括纳瓦特人居住的一些社区,在与他人交谈时不看别人的眼睛是一种尊重的表现,而长时间保持眼神交流,尤其是在两个男人之间,可以视为侵略的象征。

The poor treatment of indigenous people over the course of the country’s history is a sensitive topic in Mexico City, and the influences of the past can still be seen today in the country's social structure and indirect communication style. In some ways, it’s a lack of desire to rock the boat any further, in a country where people have a serious distrust in any authority. Politeness in Mexico City specifically is a form of setting up a barrier between oneself and the outside world. That combined with a sincere desire to not upset anyone. For example, if you've ever asked for directions in Mexico City, you may have found yourself wandering in circles as you follow the instructions of someone who didn’t want to seem rude by confessing they had no idea where to direct you.

墨西哥城历史上对原住民待遇不公,这是墨西哥城一个敏感的话题,过去的影响从现在国家的社会结构和不直接的沟通方式上依然可见。在某些方面,在一个人们对任何权威都严重不信任的国家,没有人想引起事端。墨西哥城的礼貌是让自己与外界分清界限的一种特有方式。结合一种不去烦扰任何人的真诚愿望。例如,如果你曾在墨西哥城问路,你可能会发现自己一直在顺着他们指的路绕圈,因为他们不想承认自己也不知道方向,那样会显得很粗鲁。

Similarly, when in a taxi, including a politeness ritual that extends beyond a simple greeting will find you enjoying a much smoother, more pleasant and perhaps even less-expensive ride. Start barking orders thanklessly, whether to your barista or a parking attendant, and you'll come up against unthinkably old resentments. For example, if you do not overextend yourself in your greeting, or are bossy, rude or selfish, you may be seen as being not unlike a conquistador.

类似地,坐出租车时,在简单的问候之余加一些礼貌的行为,你会发现可以让行程更加通畅、愉悦,或许还能减些车费。大声命令别人,并且不表示感谢,不管是对咖啡师还是停车场的服务员,你都将会听到想象不到的怨言。例如,如果你不多表达问候,或者表现得专横、粗鲁或者自私,就会被视为征服者。

It’s not to say that everyone in Mexico City is ‘nice’. But for one of the most densely populated cities in the world with a plethora of problems (from crime to water scarcity, corruption to traffic), many travellers find themselves remarking that at least here, people take the time for pleasantries. They help keep the city afloat. And that's important in a city built on an ancient lake bed, with parts of it sinking at about 20cm a year.

并不是说墨西哥城的每个人都是"好人"。作为这个世界上人口最密集的城市之一,墨西哥城存在许多的问题(从犯罪到缺水,腐败到交通)。许多旅行者发现,在这里,人们至少肯花时间表达礼貌。这些人有助于保持城市稳定。这对于一个在古老湖床上建造的城市是非常重要的,城市有的部分正以每年20厘米左右的速度下沉。

“Perhaps the oxymoron of ‘organised chaos’ is a good way to define Mexico City,” Lara said. “In comparison, for example, with São Paulo or Lima, that sense of order in spite of everything may be surprising.”

"也许'有组织的混乱'这一矛盾是定义墨西哥城的好方法。"劳拉(Lara)说。"比如说,与圣保罗或利马相比,墨西哥对待每件事的秩序意识是令人惊讶的。"

In the nearly two years I’ve lived in Mexico City, I've learned that maintaining this strict level of pleasantries is an art. Everyone is in it together, combing through the madness of a massive city just trying to live their lives. I'm merely one of millions. And I never skip an opportunity to wish a stranger ‘good day’ or to profusely thank someone for doing me a favour, even when I’ve paid for it.

在墨西哥城住了近两年,我了解到保持这种严格的礼貌程度是一门艺术。每个人都在其中,为了生存,在这座大城市中认真地反省自己的行为。我只是数百万人中的一个。我从来不放过每一个祝福陌生人"美好的一天"的机会,也会毫不吝惜地感谢帮助我的人,即使我已经付过了钱。

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